Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

  Sighting 1113965

Fig sphinx
Pachylia ficus

Observation date: April 06, 2017
Submitted by: christian.trevi...
Specimen type: Photograph
Observation notes: This insect was seen outside near some bushes. Can not find anything about this type of caterpillar. Would love to know what type this is. Currently being kept in a butterfly habitat for our 5th grade students at an elementary school.
Status: Resident
Verified by: stomlins701
Verified date: May 04, 2017
Coordinator notes: Sorry it took awhile to id, I had to research this one. This is a tropical sphinx moth species at its northern limit in the LRGV. The caterpillar is in its pre-pupal stage, and looks very different from what it looks like while maturing on its foodplant, various sp. of fig, and mango. This caterpillar forms a pupa on the ground. If the class kept it, and it formed a pupa, they might keep it until the adult emerges. Put a few large upright sticks in the cage for the emergent moth to crawl up and dry its wings. on. The adult is a fast flyer & pollinates deep-throated flowers, like petunia and moonflower, at night. Thanks for submitting this, it is an unusual find. SAT
Checklist region(s): United States, Texas, Hidalgo County