Larvae feed on plants in the Convolvulaceae family, especially
Ipomoea batatas (sweet potato) and in the Solanaceae family,
especially (Datura) (jimsonweed) and related plants in the
Americas. There is also a brown form. Look for very large, dark
the Elm Sphinx or Four-horned Sphinx
Larvae feed on Elm (Ulmus), birch (Betula), basswood
(Tilia), and cherry (Prunus).
There are both green and brown forms. The four horns near
the head are diagnostic.
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.
Ceratomia hageni, Hagen's Sphinx or Osage Orange Sphinx
Larvae feed on osage orange (Maclura pomifera), and they have a granulous appearance with variable amounts of purple
along the oblique white stripes.
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.
Dolba hyloeus, 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
This caterpillar is also without the anal horn and feeds on pines.
The long stripes and reddish brown afford great camouflage.
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.
Lintneria eremitus, the
Larval hosts are various species of beebalm (Monarda fistulosa),
mints (Mentha), bugleweed (Lycopis), and sage
(Salvia). Joe Garris of Sussex, New Jersey, reports larvae
also feed on Collinsonia canadensis (Canada Horsebalm,
Richweed, Hardhack, Heal-All, Horseweed), and on the houseplant,
Larvae feed on ash in the Fraxinus genus.
Syringa (lilac) and Ulmus (elm) have also been reported.
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, the Rustic Sphinx
The caterpillar has numerous white nodules on top of the thorax and
seven pairs of oblique, blue-gray stripes along the side of the body.
The horn is white at the base and blue-gray at the 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.
Sphinx canadensis, the Canadian Sphinx, is not common, and is not
often reported anywhere,
but it should be present in Fentress County.
Larval hosts are white ash (Fraxinus americana) and blueberry
Sphinx chersis, the Northern Ash Sphinx or Great Ash
The larvae are pale bluish green. The head has a pair of yellow
lateral bands meeting at the apex. The oblique, lateral stripes are
pale and bordered anteriorly with a darker green.
Larval hosts are ash, lilac, privet, cherry, and quaking aspen.
Sphinx drupiferarum larvae hide in the day and feed primarily
on cherry, plum, and apple at night.
Larvae have been found on
Amelanchier nantuckensis in Massachusetts and have been
reared to pupation in Michigan on Prunus serotina from eggs
readily deposited by a female.
Larvae feed exclusively on various species of ash (Fraxinus).
Raised, pointed bumps, especially near the head and thorax give this
caterpillar a reptilian appearance.
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). slight possibility
Laurel Sphinx larvae feed primarily on lilac and fringe.
Larvae have also been found on privet.
Amorpha juglandis larvae feed upon Walnut and butternut (Juglans),
hickory (Carya), alder (Alnus), beech (Fagus),
hazelnut (Corylus), and hop-hornbeam (Ostrya).
Larvae feed on poplars and cottonwood.
Anal horn all but disappears in final instar.
It would be more common
in southern Massachusetts and is a relatively uncommon species.
Only rarely are they seen in Maine. I never saw one in New Jersey.
Larvae accept willows, birches, and cherries.
I have also found them in the wild on oak in eastern Canada.
The larvae depicted is probably third instar.
There may be more red spotting on the sides
as larvae mature.
Larvae feed upon many forest trees including birches and cherries,
but are expecially fond of poplars and willows. Red markings on sides
vary greatly from specimen to specimen.
See Hemaris comparison to help distinguish
the next two species.
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.
Hemaris diffinis, the
Snowberry Clearwing or Bumblebee Moth
Larval host plants include Snowberry (Symphoricarpos),
honeysuckle (Lonicera), Coralberry, viburnums, Blue Dogbane
(Apocynum) and dwarf bush honeysuckle (Diervilla lonicera).
Horn is black with a yellow base.
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.
If you have Grape or Virginia Creeper nearby, then you might encounter
Note the five large white ovals. There are orangey-brown and green
In additon to Virginia creeper larvae accept Grape (Vitis),
ampelopsis (Ampelopsis), and cayenne pepper (Capsicum).
Larvae are green until the final instar.
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.
Darapsa myron, 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.
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
Grape (Vitis), ampelopsis (Ampelopsis), and
Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus) all serve as larval hosts.
The alternating yellow and greyish-green rings across the back
distinguish this larva.
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
Larvae feed at night on grape (Vitis) and ampelopsis
(Ampelopsis) and hide on the bark of their host plants during
the day. Virginia creeper would also be a suitable host.
There is also a dark form
without the green patches. Note the "raised eye", replacing the anal horn.
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 common.