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Like other "hornworms" (Sphingidae), this species has a spike or "horn" at tailend (last abdominal segment) that gives the hornworm its name. It and the related tomato hornworm (M. quinquemaculata) are major agricultural pests. The adult is known as the Carolina sphinx moth.
Observed amidst (devouring) pepper plants in backyard residential garden in Springfield, Missouri.