Giant green smooth caterpillar

catsmom6(z4 NE NY)September 1, 2009

We found a 4" lime green caterpillar crossing our deck today. It was as smooth as silk with it's back a little lighter than the sides. On it's tail end was ONE little "eye" in the middle. There were some oval beige spots low on each side There were no other colors except for a very fine sprinkling of tiny black dots near it's head on top. No horn. As it was going along it raised it's butt and plopped a rather large brown segmented poop (?) onto the board. We had been noticing the brown things on the deck for the last few days. They are kind of shaped like a peeled orange except that they are dark brown.

I've been trying to find it online all day and can't find one like it. Does anyone have a clue?

Thanks,

Cathy

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susanlynne48(OKC7a)

Without a photo it is very difficult. However, the "eye" spot on the dorsal segment along with the size of the cat gives a fair clue that it migh be a sphinx cat that loses its caudal horn in the 3rd-4th instar, and the sphericals you mention lead me to give a tentative ID of Pandora sphinx. Do you have grape, wild grape, ampelopsis, or Virginia Creeper vines in the vicinity? These are the plants the caterpillars of Eumorpha pandorus eat. Another similar species is E. achemon, which has the slashes instead of the sphericals.

Susan

    Bookmark   September 1, 2009 at 6:24PM
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catsmom6(z4 NE NY)

WOW you hit it right on the nose. It was coming out of a big vine of Virginia Creeper. It is the most beautiful thing. It was unbelievably smooth.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2009 at 8:18PM
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susanlynne48(OKC7a)

Virginia Creeper is great host plant for several sphinx moths, incl, but not limited to, the Pandorus, Achemon, Nessus, Virginia Creeper sphinx moths, as well as the lovely little Eight-Spotted Forester. I wouldn't be without it.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2009 at 9:54PM
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Butterflyer1966(z7 , AL)

Susan,
whenever your V.C. has seeds could you save some for me?? I know it can get invasive, but I have plenty of places to let it just take over.. I would really appreciate that!
Greetings
Susanne(SUE)

    Bookmark   September 4, 2009 at 7:40AM
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