Friday, August 24, 2007
I found this on a baseball cap that was lying on the floor on the porch. On disturbance it started motoring along the concrete floor towards the wall of the house. That didn't seem good, so I encouraged it to climb onto a maple leaf also lying there and moved it into the garden. Then I went into the house to try to find out what it was--it was gone when I returned.
Pretty caterpillar, on a leaf not of its own choosing
I knew on sight that it was a hornworm, but what kind? I consulted BugGuide.net, of course, and scanned through the hornworms there. Turns out, it is most likely a Snowberry Clearwing (Hemaris diffinis) larva, not entirely of the brown form, nor of the regular green (see this page showing different colour phases of this caterpillar). It has the yellow at the base of the horn, and around the "neck," and the black dots that seem to define this species. Interesting because I've never been sure whether I've seen diffinis, or whether all the clearwings I've seen have been the very similar Hemaris thysbe. And now I have good reason to believe that the Snowberry does come around here.
Join us on the Friday Ark!