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Tetrio Sphinx, Giant Gray Sphinx, Frangipani Hornworm, Plumeria Caterpillar

Pseudosphinx tetrio


More than a dozen of these nearly 6" long caterpillars were clustered together at eye level on a trio of small trees. They are said to bite, but more than that, they have a nasty taste and predators avoid them. I noticed that their tails (tiny, black, at the rear) wag and wiggle like a dog tail. They morph into a sphinx moth.


I don't know what kind of tree they were defoliating, but Wikipedia says they like particularly like Plumeria (frangipani) tree leaves, and will completely defoliate a tree in time.


When my camera got too close, they whipped their front ends back and forth, making it hard to get a good photo.

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1 Comment

maplemoth662 3 months ago

Photo No. 1: is a beautiful photo....two, beautiful caterpillars....

Las Amazonas, Loreto, Peru

Lat: -3.53, Long: -72.32

Spotted on Dec 31, 2010
Submitted on Jan 31, 2016

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