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Rustic sphinx - Manduca rustica

Rustic sphinx - Manduca rustica
Gainesville, Alachua County, Florida, USA
September 27, 2005
Size: 80mm
I thought at first this was the tobacco hornworm, but the stripe color and spiky tail and head are a little different. Plus, it's eating Cardinal Climber (Ipomoea), not one of the usual hosts. Now I think it must be Rustic Sphinx, which does host on Convolvulaceae. There are not many pictures on the internet, though I found this one at Moths of Arizona that matches. Does anyone have a book with this in, to confirm? J & J?

Images of this individual: tag all
Rustic sphinx - Manduca rustica Rustic sphinx (detail) - Manduca rustica

It is a great match
for Wagner's (1) image of the Rustic Sphinx on page 249. The pose is the same. So are the small spikey projections on top of the thorax. Wagner particularly notes the "extremely granulated horn." His image seems to have more black down low above the yellow stripes but we're guessing that's not critical. Everything else matches. We're curious about the scattered black dots on the side with white hairlike structures protruding. Are those the breathing tubes of some internal parasite?

Interesting question,
I hadn't really noticed those, but they do seem to be too randomly arranged to be part of the caterpillar. The creature is still out in my yard and alive at time of posting, but looks kind of limp and unhealthy, so I suspect you're right and it won't make it to pupation :(

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