Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

  Sighting 1242539

Laurel sphinx
Sphinx kalmiae

Observation date: August 09, 2019
Submitted by: tirvine2020
Specimen type: Photograph
Observation notes: This caterpillar was found on a bush hanging over the pond along with another sphinx caterpillar I haven't been able to identify, different species but potentially the same genus. Both were very near each other on the bush, and both were covered in wasp eggs (hence the black spots all over the back). This caterpillar was definitely not on its host plant for three reasons: 1) the above stated, suggesting it was brought to this bush by a wasp that laid eggs on it and the other caterpillar 2) it and the other caterpillar were completely immobile except for self defense (whipping its head around) for the next week, until one of the caterpillars was found surrounded in wasp pupae 3) the leaves of the branches on the bush the caterpillars were found on were untouched (no signs of caterpillars chewing leaves or branches without any leaves or leaves missing).
Status: Resident
Verified by: rogerdowner
Verified date: February 11, 2020
Coordinator notes: None.