Unusual critter seen on the Pine Island Trip

On the  trip to Pine Island on January 20th, we visited a 20-20 property; Smokehouse Bay.  While there, one of our members spotted a most unusual looking caterpillar.  We decided that it was most likely a moth, due to the size.  The following information was submitted by CBC member Barbara Brown which identified the caterpillar as a banded sphinx.  Banded sphinx come in many different colors and patterns.  Information below is from the website:  http://www.discoverlife.org/mp/20q?guide=Caterpillars

Eumorpha fasciatus (Sulzer, 1776)
Lesser Vine Sphinx; Eumorpha fasciata
Life   Insecta   Lepidoptera   Sphingidae   Eumorpha

Banded Sphinx Caterpillar

Banded Sphinx

Banded Sphinx Range

Below from: http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Eumorpha-fasciatus

Banded sphinx
Eumorpha fasciatus (Sulzer, 1776)

Family: Sphingidae

Subfamily: Macroglossinae

Identification: Upperside is dark pinkish brown. Forewing has a lighter brown band along the costa, and sharp pinkish white bands and streaks. Hindwing has a pink patch on the inner margin and pink along the outer margin.

Wing Span: 3 7/16 – 3 13/16 inches (8.7 – 9.6 cm).

Life History: Adults begin feeding at dark. Caterpillars pupate in shallow chambers in the soil.

Flight: . Several flights in Florida throughout the year, several flights in Louisiana from April-November, two flights in coastal South Carolina from May-July and August-October, one brood northward from August-November.

Caterpillar Hosts: Primrose-willow and other plants in the evening primrose family (Onagraceae).

Adult Food: Flower nectar.

Habitat: Tropical, subtropical, and austral lowlands.

Range: Northern Argentina north through Central America and Mexico to southern California and southern Arizona; east to Texas, Mississippi, Florida, and South Carolina. Strays north to Missouri, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, and Nova Scotia.

Conservation: Not usually required.

NCGR: G5 – Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.

Management Needs: None reported.


Photo taken by CBC member Beverly Saltonstall at the 20-20 property on Pine Island (Lee Co.) on January20, 2014

Photo taken by CBC member Beverly Saltonstall at the 20-20 property on Pine Island (Lee Co.) on January 20, 2014



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