Monday, September 14, 2009

Black, Blue and Yellow Horned Caterpillar

A unicorn butt caterpillar!!! Straight up, it's gotta be one horny ass. I would love to know what sort of butterfly or moth this digitalized looking creeper will become?


Gratuitous said...

Now this one could taken some time to nail down completely (no pun intended - nailing is for the grown moths & butterflies, if preserving beauty is worth killing for). Closest so far might be Hyles lineata, sometimes known as a Hawk Moth, or a type of Sphinx, but there are so many variations I have to give up. But if it is a hawk moth, I wonder if the name has to do with prey vs predator or the origin of the the word "hawk," since in Dutch "haak" means "hook?"

Leslie @ the oko box said...

Hey Gratuitous-
I gave up on this one too, even though i found some matches on an online BUg Guide, that guide didn't seem to have any info on it- they called it "tiny horned caterpillar" lol ... what I am always wondering is what they eat and what they become. I found it on some yellow wildflowers. It is, very tiny though, like they describe.
You know Dutch?

Gratuitous said...

It's just gotta be a Spurge Hawk Moth. Not a single exact match out there, but if I stop obsessing with those cool horizontal yellow dashes and focus on the feet, head, tail, and horn, then we have a match. That's my story, and I'm sticking with it. Hyles euphorbiae for further reading. It seems there have been sightings all over the world.

Dutch? Hah! Up there on my list of greatest regrets is not being at least bilingual, especially given that as an adoptee (at age 6) from Korea, I had a decent chance. My neighbor is Dutch/Danish, however, and we got into this discussion of the bird of prey possibly being named after the hook of its beak, as the current definitions of "hawk" all have to do with the bird.

Leslie @ the oko box said...

The best way to learn is from people around you. :)
You are a bug identifying hound!!! Thanks!

Gratuitous said...

Last word on this bug: It's not just us; even the entomologists are going nuts trying to identify all of them!

"The Hyles euphorbiae complex is rather difficult to classify for it would seem to be in the process of diverging into a number of species."

Leslie @ the oko box said...

Gratu -
I love those type of moths! I saw more of them in Louisiana then I have ever seen here. Another thing I noticed is the body of the moth is alot like that of the hummingbird moth, the only real difference is the hummingbird moth has clear wings like a dragonfly or bee.
Cool, I hope this means I will be seeing some of the moths soon.

Anonymous said...

This caterpillar is called the Catalpa worm. For info go to this site,