A week ago, I wrote:
The world is full of beautiful and strange things. Indonesian insects with eyes on stalks, African mole rats, Amazonian parrots and Chinese snakehead fish.
We can get so caught up in the exotic world of other places that we forget the strange and fascinating right under our own noses.
I’ll make it a Friday mission to remind myself and my readers of a few of the things that we might otherwise miss.
Today’s Friday Find is a Sphinx moth caterpillar, or I guess parts of it. Here we can see the feet of the caterpillar, holding tight to the plant it’s chewing away on.
Click through to see more.
The common name for the family is the hornworms, because of that spike. I’m pretty sure this is a Laurel Sphinx, based on the colors of the spike on the end of the beastie’s tail. The spike can be expanded when the caterpillar is nervous, and it will sometimes rear up in a pose that reminded people of a sphinx, hence the common name for the species, and the name of this family of moths: Sphingidae.
These moths and caterpillars are common throughout North America and the world. Some in the family hover over flowers like hummingbirds. Most are fairly cryptic as adults, but their shape and the pattern of colors is remarkably elegant. They are subtle enough to hide in plain sight, but pretty enough to watch for hours.