Friday, August 17, 2007

Sphinx drupiferarum (wild cherry sphinx) - Monster for Short

This interesting monster will eventually turn into a large moth. Here's a link that shows what this little monster will turn into - Wild Cherry Sphinx.

The reason I said monster, was this cute and what appeared to be slow moving caterpillar actually lunged and tried to strike my hand with its sharp horn. YES, I said HORN (more like a large SPIKE though). I was trying to place my hand near the sphinx in order to give a reference for its size but alas I learned my lesson and will just have to describe its length instead (between 5- 6 inches).

The wild cherry sphinx has a range from Nova Scotia to BC (British Columbia) and as far south as Georgia. It is not that common in its range though.
The neighbours (including an octogenarian) had never seen anything like this before. After taking the photos and moving the caterpillar away from the house (so it wouldn’t get stepped on – more for our protection than its), we have not seen the sphinx again. Maybe will we see the moth next year as the caterpillar is supposed to overwinter in underground burrows.


luke156 said...

hope you get the picture of the moth...nice shot.

April said...

Oh, so this seems to be a dangerous animal ;-) I can imagine well - that when they feel attacked - they'll try to fight. You should have told it, it's for the Internet, perhaps it would have posed for you ;-))

JoAnn - NL Photography said...

oooow Kill him!
That was my first reaction, I hate all kinds of worms, snake's not to mention flying bugs, muscitoos, flies, mots YAK!

Today I posted some "cows in love"

:) JoAnn greetings!

CaBaCuRl said...

OOooh, that is a very big caterpillar! It would be very well camouflaged in the bushes too.

FĂ©nix (Bostonscapes DP) said...

6 to 8 inches in length? Definitely not my kinda bug. Eek.

Neva said...

not a big bug fan.....that you even got as close as you did is amazing to me. I am on the live and let live page unless you are living in my space! I would have a hard time in a troical climate where a winter doesn't come to kill most of these little monsters! nice photo though...BTW, I linked you to a blog I wrote on my other blog. hope you don't mind!