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4/17/2008

White Lined Sphinx Moth Caterpillar

white line sphinx
White Lined Sphinx Moth Caterpillar


I have been thinking of adding some plants that attract butterflies. Little did I know I had a host already for the white lines sphinx moth. Yes this little bugger ate half of my Evening Primrose! Really I'm not upset it's a weed/wildflower here but my husband plucked it for me so it means something. There wasn't only one but two of these little guys on my Primrose. I took one off a few days ago. Then another one appeared yesterday.

The White Lined Sphinx Moth is one of those hummingbird moths that can hover. They have a proboscis that they eat drink whatever nectar from. Their underwing is bright pink. The White Lined Sphinx Moth or Hawkmoth can be found in most of the USA. For pictures of the moth visit Butterflies and Moths of North America.

I might have to rethink this butterfly garden thing until I have a garden where the chewed up plants won't be as noticeable. Or avoid the hosts for the caterpillars.

12 comments:

Jane Marie said...

I never heard of this one. I don't think I'd pluck him off myself, either.

Robin's Nesting Place said...

I'd love to attract those caterpillars to my garden. I had the clear wing hawk moth last year and enjoyed having it visit. I hope it comes back this year.

Element said...

I have been planting butterfly/hummingbird moth/hummbird attracting plants in my yard. But nothing that attracts these guys are blooming right now.

I love the pictures.

Aunt Debbi/kurts mom said...

I have not seen that one in my garden. I wonder what else it eats other than primrose? We love our butterfly garden.

Anonymous said...

Moonflowers....the Sphinx Moth loves them and so do I! They are fast growing, beutiful, and very mysterious, just like the Sphinx Moth!

Vanillalotus said...

jane marie- I never had heard of it either but did a quick search. I plucked him off but put him somewhere else.

robin- I have never seen these moths but I guess I don't have plants the grown adult likes.

element- I'd love to see your butterfly/hummingbird plants. Thank You.

aunt debbie- On that link I provided it says the food for the caterpillars and what the adults eat. It's not uncommon things.

anonymous- I'll have to try the moon flowers. I should have gotten some but man I have a lot of vines for my not so big balcony. Maybe next year.

Anonymous said...

Hi my children recently found one of these caterpillars and we are wondering what it eats and what we can do to keep it alive, they have named him Dave lol and want to keep him as a pet.

Vanillalotus said...

anon- Caterpillar hosts(what caterpillar will eat): A great diversity of plants including willow weed (Epilobium), four o'clock (Mirabilis), apple (Malus), evening primrose (Oenothera), elm (Ulmus), grape (Vitis), tomato (Lycopersicon), purslane (Portulaca), and Fuschia.

Adult food: Nectar from a variety of flowers including columbines, larkspurs, petunia, honeysuckle, moonvine, bouncing bet, lilac, clovers, thistles, and Jimpson weed.

Anonymous said...

have just found one in my garden in england what should i do with it

Anonymous said...

Hello, I found one of these caterpillars tonight in my garage behind a moped that I was taking out for a monthly ride around the block. Biggest caterpillar I've ever seen! I do have primrose in the area, but definately NOT in my garage! I live in Lake Forest, CA.
Rodd

Pam said...

how do you kill/get rid of them? eating all the Evening Primrose i have!

Bug Girl said...

You can't really get rid of these kinds of caterpillars but it's good that they are eating the evening primrose see, that plant is a wild flower, and a weed. I found one of them yesterday in the strawberry patch my mom has and it's not poisonous... so it won't kill you.
And you CAN'T keep them as a pet.
You can help them grow check out this website : http://www.birds-n-garden.com/hummingbird_moths.html#rearing hope i helped!
bug girl