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Photo#8454
Hornworm with wasp parasites - Agrius cingulata - female

Hornworm with wasp parasites - Agrius cingulata - Female
Rincon, Georgia, USA
November 3, 2004
I found this caterpillar while harvesting Morning Glory seeds today. I had the ruler put up next to her to show how large she is. Any idea what type she is? She's very pretty.

Pink Spotted Hawkmoth
Last instar larva of the Pink Spotted Hawkmoth, Agrius cingulata

 
Thanks, Jim!
Judging by this webpage your ID is right on the mark. The host plant is right too, being Convolvulaceae.

pupa
Here's a link to some info on those pupa

 
That was a great photo and in
That was a great photo and information. Thanks for the link! Sad for the caterpillar. :-(

Sphinx Moth caterpillar with parasites
Looks like a Sphinx moth caterpillar, though I don't know which species. The little tail is one indication.

The white items (alas for her) are not her eggs, but parasites. A wasp had laid her eggs in the caterpillar and now these are the pupae of the wasps. If I'm not mistaken few if any parasitized caterpillars make it to the adult stage.

I'll leave it for the experts to say, but the brown coloration may be related to the poor health of the caterpillar. My garden had some green tomato hornworms that ended up being brown tomato hornworms as they weakened and died from the parasitism. On the other hand maybe this species of caterpillar is always brown.

Good job with the photography!

--Stephen

Stephen Cresswell
Buckhannon, WV
www.stephencresswell.com

 
Could be tobacco hornworm, Manduca sexta,
as it has the indicative seven diagonal stripes. I haven't found an image of a brown one so perhaps the parasites have changed the color, as Stephen described.

 
Thanks so much!!
Thanks so much!!

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