USGS Pink-spotted hawkmoth.
Larval hosts: Convolvulaceae family, especially
Ipomoea batatas (sweet potato) and Solanaceae family,
especially (Datura) (jimsonweed) and related plants in the
Americas. There is also a brown form. Look for very large, dark
Young caterpillars feed gregariously on Catalpa species
(Catalpa bignoniodes and C. speciosa) in the
Bignoniaceae family, skeletonizing the foliage.
Larvae are mostly white in early instars.
Fraxinus, Ligustrum, Quercus, Crataegus and
Chionanthus virginicus are listed as hosts.
In the fifth instar, the spiracular ovals are decidedly red and the
anal horn is off-white to pinkish laterally.
USGS The Giant Sphinx,
Very large caterpillars. In last instars,
larvae are uniform green with dark purple center back line and
very sharp white posterior side slash with some dark green on both
WO, the Pawpaw Sphinx
Larvae feed on pawpaw (Asimina triloba), littleleaf sweetfern
(Myrica aspleniifolia), possum haw (Ilex decidua), and
inkberry (Ilex glabra) as well as Tall Gallberry Holly
Louis Handfield reports larvae probably feed on Ilex verticellata
WO, Cypress or Baldcypress Sphinx.
Larvae feed on needles of baldcypress (Taxodium distichum) at night and
pupate in shallow underground burrows where second generation
Larvae feed upon various pine species, including loblolly pine
(Pinus taeda) and longleaf pine (P. pinaster). They are well
camouflaged and are without an anal horn.
|sorry, no larval image available at this time|
Larvae probably feed on Tecoma, Fraxinus americana, Fraxinus excelsior, Fraxinus platycarpa and Tecoma stans.
The caterpillars are called Tomato Hornworms and each has a black horn at the end of the abdomen.
Larvae feed on potato, tobacco, tomato, and other plants in the
nightshade family (Solanaceae).
Manduca rustica on golden dewdrop, Cape Coral, October 9, 2010, Elizabeth Gillen.
USGS, the Rustic Sphinx
Caterpillar has numerous white nodules on top of thorax and
seven pairs of oblique, blue-gray stripes along side of body.
Horn: white at base and blue-gray at tip. Many hosts are utilized.
Tobacco Hornworms, equipped with a red-tipped horn at the end of the
abdomen, are true gluttons and feed on tobacco and tomato, and
occasionally potato and pepper crops and other plants in the
nightshade family (Solanaceae).
Preferred hosts are common trumpetcreeper (Campsis radicans),
Florida yellow-trumpet (Tecoma stans), lilac
(Syringa species), and
passionflower (Passiflora species).
The anal horn is blue, preceded by a yellow dash.
Larval hosts are apple (Malus), sweetfern (Myrica), Carolina rose
(Rosa carolina), blueberry and huckleberry (Vaccinium), white spruce
(Picea glauca), American larch (Larix laricina), and alder (Alnus). generally more northerly
the Walnut Sphinx.
Amorpha juglandis larvae feed upon Walnut and butternut (Juglans),
hickory (Carya), alder (Alnus), beech (Fagus),
hazelnut (Corylus), and hop-hornbeam (Ostrya). generally more northerly
Larvae accept willows, birches, and cherries.
I have also found them in the wild on oak in eastern Canada.
The skin is very granulose. generally more northerly
The larvae depicted is probably third instar.
There may be more red spotting on the sides
as larvae mature.
Protambulyx strigilis larva, Lehigh Acres, December 8, 2009, Jeanne Lowe
Larvae feed on Schinus terebinthefolia.
Later instars hide at base of leaf or near base of
tree's trunk when not feeding (all larvae were found on saplings).
Early instar larvae have extremely pointed head capsules; sometimes have difficulty shedding their head capsules.
Larvae feed on seven year apple, Casasia clusiifolia, and probably
other plants in the madder family. They have been reported on
Indigo-berry (Randia aculeata).
Enyo lugubris, the Mournful Sphinx,
The body and wings are dark brown. The forewing has a large black
patch covering most of the outer half of the wing. There is a pale
tan cell spot (dark inner pupil), and a fairly straight median line
to the inside of the cell spot. Some larvae have extensive dark brown regions.
USGS, the Alope Sphinx.
Larvae have several forms and feed on papaya (Carica papaya),
nettlespurge (Jatropha), and allamanda (Allamanda).
USGS, the Ello Sphinx.
Larvae feed on papaya (Carica papaya), Cnidoscolus
angustidens, poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima),
guava (Psidium species) and
saffron plum (Bumelia angustifolia/Bumelia celastrina).
Willow Bustic (Bumelia salicifolia)
and Painted Leaf (Poinsettia heterophylla) are also hosts.
Nice socks! Larvae show considerable variation.
Erinnyis obscura, the Obscure Sphinx,
Larvae feed on Rauvolfia ligustrina, Rauvolfia tetraphylla,
Stemmadenia obovata, Philibertia, Cynanchum, papaya
(Carica papaya), Asclepiadaceae, Blepharodon mucronatum,
White vine (Sarcostemma clausum) and Morrenia odorata.
, the Cuban Sphinx,
Larvae feed on Guettarda macrosperma and Chomelia spinosa and other species
in the Rubiaceae family. In Florida larvae have been found on Rough Velvetseed (Guettarda scabra) in the Rubiaceae family.
There is also a dark form. See file.
generally more southerly
USGS, the Hummingbird Clearwing
There is also an orangey-pink prepupal form. The lateral line runs
from S1 to the blue horn.
Hemaris thysbe larvae feed on viburnum and related plants.
Slender Clearwing or Graceful Clearwing
Larval foods are blueberries including low bush blueberry
(Vaccinium vacillans), and laurel (Kalmia), all in the heath family
(Ericaceae). generally more northerly
Females probably lay eggs on evening primrose
(Onagraceae). In Florida larvae have been found on
Black Mangrove (Avicennia germinans).
Sorry, no image available at this time.
Pachylia ficus, the Fig Sphinx,
USGS. Females feed and lay eggs on fig leaves, especially Strangler Fig
(Ficus aurea). Ficus carica, Ficus microcarpa, Ficus
religiosa, Ficus pumila, Ficus gamelleira, Ficus prinoides, Ficus
pumila and Artocarpus integrifolia are also listed as
The extreme variability of larvae is shown to the left.
The few images that have been sent to me for identification help
are usually as per the upper image.
Phryxus caicus, the Caicus Sphinx,
Larvae feed on Mesechites trifida and other
members of Apocynaceae (Dogbane family: Echites).
Larvae have been reported on mangrove rubber vine (Rhabdadenia
Carica papaya serves as larval host in Brazil.
Pseudosphinx tetrio, the Tetrio Sphinx,
Larvae feed on Allamanda cathartica and Frangipani
(Plumieria rubra) and probably other members of the Dogbane
The huge, brightly coloured caterpillar is easy to find in gardens.
the Achemon Sphinx.
Larvae feed upon Grape (Vitis), Virginia Creeper
(Parthenocissus quinquefolia) and other vines and ivies
Larvae occur in both a light (green) form and a darker (tan/brown)
form. Note six "segmented" oblique lines.
USGS, the Banded Sphinx.
Larvae feed upon primrose-willow, Ludwigia (water primrose)
and other plants in the evening primrose family. This hornless larva is
highly variable. Look for large, dark spiracular circles and a dark
line in the center of the back. See image at bottom of this page.
USGS, the Gaudy Sphinx.
There is a
striking resemblance to a snake's head and eye, and a flattening of
the thoracic segments when the head is not retracted.
In Florida larvae have been found on Possum Vine
Cissus incisa, Cissus verticillata, Eupatorium odoratum,
Magnolia, Parthenocissus and Vitis vinifera are all
reported hosts. generally more southerly
WO, the Pandorus Sphinx.
If you have Grape or Virginia Creeper nearby, then you might encounter
Note the five large white ovals. There are orangey-brown and green
the Vine Sphinx.
Eumorpha vitis vitis larvae feed upon grape foliage (Vitis) and
other vines (Cissus): Cissus pseudosicyoides
and Cissus rhombifolia and Cissus sicycoides.
I suspect there would be a brown form.
Note five, smooth, narrow, oblique white lines. generally more southerly
In additon to Virginia creeper larvae accept Grape (Vitis),
ampelopsis (Ampelopsis), and cayenne pepper (Capsicum).
Larvae are green until the final instar.
the Grote's Sphinx.
Rare in U.S., but there are sightings (mostly of adult moths)
in east from Florida, South Carolina, New Jersey, New York,
New Hampshire. Larvae feed on David's milkberry/snowberry (Chiococca alba)
in madder family (Rubiaceae); also on black torch (Erithalis fruiticosa) and Common Snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus).
WO, the Azalea Sphinx.
Larvae feed on Azalea and Viburnum and progress very rapidly. The
larva to the left on Viburnum cassinoides is getting ready to
pupate. Color change from green to light burgundy-brown indicates
pupation is imminent. generally more northerly
WO, the Virginia Creeper Sphinx or the Grapevine Sphinx.
If you have the
foodplants indicated in the common names, you probably have this
species nearby. The lower wings are orange.
Larvae feed on Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia),
Grape (Vitis), Ampelopsis, and Viburnum.
the Hydrangea Sphinx.
Larvae turn a deep chocolate brown just prior to pupation, and the
"horn" on the tail also turns downward as pupation draws near.
Darapsa versicolor larvae feed on Smooth hydrangea
(Hydrangea arborescens), buttonbush
(Cephalanthus occidentalis), and waterwillow
USGS, the White-lined Sphinx.
Larvae are highly varied and feed on a great diversity of plants
including willow weed (Epilobium), four o'clock (Mirabilis),
apple (Malus), evening primrose (Oenothera), elm
(Ulmus), grape (Vitis), tomato (Lycopersicon),
purslane (Portulaca), and Fuschia.
All larvae seem, however, to have the red/black swellings split by
the Tersa Sphinx.
Larvae also feed on Borreria, Catalpa and Manettia spp. and
Smooth buttonplant (Spermacoce glabra) and starclusters
(Pentas species). They are also recorded on joe-pie weed and
Hamelia patens and on Hedoydis nigricans. The green form may be more
the Pluto Sphinx.
Larvae feed on Milkberry (Chiococca
species), Firebush (Hamelia patens), Indian Mulberry
(Morinda royoc) and Erythroxylon species. There are
three known colour morphs: green, brown, and purple/brown.