Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

  Sighting 927383

Great ash sphinx
Sphinx chersis

Observation date: September 02, 2013
Submitted by: Dani Pereda
Specimen type: Photograph
Observation notes: Found on concrete patio. Plants within 10 ft: Ivy geranium, purple shamrock, purple leaf honeysuckle, butterfly plant, and various succulents.
Status: Resident
Verified by: Ilona L.
Verified date: January 04, 2024
Coordinator notes: This is a sphinx moth larva but it is difficult to determine the species because of the angle of the photo and the fact that it seems to have turned color readying itself for pupation. Likely, this caterpillar was searching for a place to burrow into the ground and pupate. My best guesses are Manduca quinquemaculata (likely if there are tomato or related plants in the garden), Manduca rustica (possibly lantana, lilac, privet, cape honeysuckle, sunflower, many others), or Sphinx chersis (ash, privet, lilac) or related Sphinx species. This caterpillar could easily have wandered more than 10 ft. from the host plant. 01/04/24 - Matches the caterpillars for California of Sphinx chersis on iNaturalist -- https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?place_id=917&project_id=insect-larvae-grubs-caterpillars-maggots-etc&taxon_id=127169
Checklist region(s): United States, California, Riverside County