The Basics:

  • Does it sting? No.

  • What does it eat? Grape and virginia creeper, among other plants.

  • Will it seriously damage plants or trees? Not usually.

  • Is it rare? This species is not rare but it is seldom seen.

  • What does it turn into? A really gorgeous moth.

  • Can you raise it to an adult? Yes.

Pandorus Sphinx

This deep orange-brown beauty is one form of a somewhat common type of sphinx moth larva -- the other form is green, and while beautiful, is not quite as striking as this one. These caterpillars belong to the same family as "hornworms," and they have a horn on the tail end as young larva; older caterpillars have a glassy button instead of a horn. This caterpillar in the illustration may be a tropical version of the North American pandorus species -- it's a little hard to tell. But if you find one, you can be sure you've found a truly special insect.

Pandorus Sphinx, Eumorpha pandorus

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All images public domain/Wikimedia Commons unless otherwise noted.