Black gold face , butt & horn (White-lined sphinx moth caterpillar)

by Julie
(Grand Rapis Michigan kent county)


Looks similar to tomato worm but legs shorter & head not so big. Face,butt & horn are gold 2.5" long

Comments for Black gold face , butt & horn (White-lined sphinx moth caterpillar)

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White-lined sphinx moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Julie
Your caterpillar, the white-lined sphinx is related to the tomato hornworm like you thought. They are both in the Sphingidae family of moths. This family is known for the caterpillars to have tails or horns on the rear end.

Caterpillars of this moth do vary greatly in color, from green to black with splotches. This particular species does have the orangish-yellow head, tail, and anal plate (that is the yellow butt you mentioned), which is distinctive for ID.

The moths look a little like hummingbirds as they fly from flower to flower gathering nectar. The straw-like mouthparts are long tubes for sucking nectar...it is fun to see them gathering nectar at dusk from petunias or other tubular flowers.

This particular sphinx moth does fly during the day as well as at night. The gray moth does have a distinct white line (and a few smaller white lines) on its front wing that gives it its name. The underwing is pink with black edging.

While the moths do feed on nectar, the caterpillars feed on a wide variety of plants like purslane, primrose, and plants in the rose family. They are not considered a pest of any crop.

This insect is found all over North America, Central America as well as Eurasia and Africa.

This insect does not bite or sting.

Black with gold
by: Julie

That's great! I do have the hummingbird moths & tons of purslane (so?) Thanks for taking the time to help me out.

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