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Photo#124267
Good Looking Privet Eater - Manduca rustica

Good Looking Privet Eater - Manduca rustica
Baton Rouge - BREC Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center, East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana, USA
July 4, 2007
Size: 2.0-2.5 inches
Found by a friend, Kay.
About 10:00 am.
It was eating Chinese Privet and doing a good job.
Only found one individual.
This seems to be its defensive (hiding) pose.
Greens, purples and blues.
Really blends in from a few steps back.
Add some yellow and it would be ready for Mardi Gras.
Little knobs on the back of the head and "neck".
Little spikes on the tail.
Maybe looks like a little seed or pollen tassel from some tree or bush (?).
I will post a few more views.

Images of this individual: tag all
Good Looking Privet Eater - Manduca rustica Good Looking Privet Eater - Manduca rustica Good Looking Privet Eater - Manduca rustica Good Looking Privet Eater - Manduca rustica

Beneficial species, in my book!
Privet is such a nuisance and grows so totally out of control that this counts as a beneficial insect for me! My parents took out a privet hedge 10 years ago, including 4 feet below the surface to get the roots, and the darn thing is *still* coming back 30 or 40 feet away from its original site. I bet they'd like a couple of these caterpillars...

 
Thanks for reminding me...
...that I should be looking harder for these right now.
I have not seen any this year ... yet.

Rustic sphinx, I think.
The extremely granulated horn and yellow granules behind the head are a match for this one, although the coloration is different - compare below:



Also, this website lists Ligustrum (Privet) as a host, and shows an image of one with a blue-gray underside more like yours in color.

What a beauty!

 
Looks like Rustic Sphinx
Looks like rustic sphinx to me.
Thanks for providing the additional link.
Some "dead ringers" in there.

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