Sphinx Moth Caterpillar

by Lorraine
(Grand Forks, B.C. Canada)

Sphinx Moth Caterpillar - top

Sphinx Moth Caterpillar - top

This is the biggest green caterpillar I've ever seen - it's got the most beautiful violet and white stripes on its sides, and a brown coloured horn or spike. As far as I know, this is not sharp, so it won't prick you.

The little white dots on its side and abdomen appear to be mites or some type of parasite - who knew?

I found the caterpillar when one of my chickens was staring at something on the ground, and pecked at it, then leaped backwards like it was stung! I went and looked, and here was the enormous caterpillar. I had no idea if it was a destructive pest, but I put it back in the long grass to continue on its way.

With a caterpillar this size, I can't imagine how big the moth is...

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