moth id

Anne Kilmer viceroy at
Wed Aug 25 19:12:12 EDT 1999

Oughtta be either the tobacco hornworm or the tomato hornworm. Datura is
a nightshade type. 
Anne Kilmer
south Florida

"DR. JAMES ADAMS" wrote:
> Dear listers,
> > Rich and Lisa Flynn wrote:
> > >
> > > I found a large green catapillar eating my Datura (Jimson weed).   I put it in
> > > an aquarium with the plant. It is now as large as my little finger,  has a
> > > thin diagonal black strip with one small irridescent spot on each segment.  It
> > > hasn't any protrusions.  This morning it has burrowed into the gravel at the
> > > bottom of the aquarium.  I have wedged some sticks it there.   It doesn't fit
> > > the pictorals in  my Audubon guide.  Any ideas?
> If it is burrowing, then it is undoubtedly a moth, and fits for several
> different groups of moths. The silver spots on each segment sound
> like a Syssphinx (Sphingicampa) to me.  Was there *any* evidence
> of bumps/short horns on the thorax at all?  If so, then your
> caterpillar may indeed be either S. bicolor or S. bisecta, both of
> which should occur in Indiana.  The moths are pictured in Covell,
> are members of the Saturniidae, and are commonly called Honey
> Locust moths.  Small problem -- seems unlikely that they would
> have been eating Datura!!  Did you actually *see* it eat the Datura,
> or did you just find it crawling on it?  Got any locust or Kentucky
> Coffee Trees nearby?
>         James
> Dr. James K. Adams
> Dept. of Natural Science and Math
> Dalton State College
> 213 N. College Drive
> Dalton, GA  30720
> Phone: (706)272-4427; fax: (706)272-2533
> U of Michigan's President James Angell's
>   Secret of Success: "Grow antennae, not horns"

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