Sphinx Moth or Hawk Moth
eggs. Some eggs were on the lower side of the leaves while
others were on the upper sides.
Here is a very young, probably first instar caterpillar.
You can see the horn or spine at the back end.
older caterpillars have a distinct eye spot behind the head. When threatened,
the caterpillar arches up
and displays the eye spot to scare away predators.
The caterpillar all the way to the right is about 3" long or 80cm.
It is about ready to pupate.
These were all found on papaya plants.
Once the caterpillar is ready to pupate, it stops eating, drops to the ground and burrows in the ground under leaf litter.
This is what it looks like after one day under the leaf litter. It lightly spun silk onto the leaf litter
to form a sort of leaf cover over itself.
4 full days, the pupa was finally fully formed. The cocoons are VERY motile.
One touch and it wiggles and squirms as a defense against would be predators.
after it first went underground, the beautiful Sphinx Moth emerged.
The wings begin to vibrate very fast when they are about the start flying.
is a very unfortunate hawkmoth caterpillar that has been infected with
larvae of a parasitic wasp.
than 2 days, this cottony cloud of wasp eggs was on the leaf where
the caterpillar used to be.
The wasps that emerged were only about 3cm long. Very tiny!
Sphinx Moths, Hawkmoths (Sphingidae)
hosts plants: Papaya ,Nettlespurge, and Allamanda