Pachysphinx modesta, the Modest Sphinx

Pachysphinx modesta
(Harris, 1839) Smerinthus

Pachysphinx modesta fifth instar larva, Houston, Harris County, Texas,
found on cottonwood, June 21, 2011, courtesy of Cory Melancon.

Cory writes, "We live in Houston Texas, and one of my boys found this beautiful caterpillar. It appears to be exhibiting the characteristics of some of the caterpillars I have read about on other blogs. Sluggish, moving then stopping for long periods of time etc. Seems like it is beginning its metamorphosis. I put it in a container with a couple of inches of soil and also some foliage of the cottonwood tree it was found under. Is this correct? Any help you can offer would be appreciated."

I replied, "I would like permission to post your image of Pachysphinx modesta larva, credited to you, on the following page: Southeastern Texas Sphingidae Thumbnail Checklist.

"There is information on that page about caring for found Sphingidae larvae.

"It is probably done feeding, but you will shortly see if it continues to feed on cottonwood leaves."

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