Thursday, August 19, 2010

Grape caterpillar images - up close and gross!

So here are the images of those hungry caterpillar's that loved the tasteof our grape leaves.

Here is some information I found on this caterpillar:Also called the grape sphinx, developing and full-grown achemon sphinx aterpillars are
green, yellow-brown or brown. The horn at the end of the body is long and slender and is
lost with the last larval molt. On the sides of the abdomen are oblique white bars that
appear to be partially subdivided unevenly into three sections; the spiracles are found
within the lowest (and largest) compartment. Full-grown caterpillars are 2.5 to 3.5 inches
long. Preferred host plants are grapes (wild and domesticated) and Virginia creeper.
About the family
Many caterpillar species in the Sphingidae family are referred to as "hornworms" because
they have a conspicuous horn or spine on the top of the last abdominal segment. The bodies
of these caterpillars are usually free of hairlike setae and smooth except for shallow
wrinkles in each segment. Adults are referred to as "sphinx," "hawk," or "hummingbird"
moths. They are fast, strong fliers with a rapid wing beat and often hover in front of a
flower to feed on the nectar in much the same manner as a hummingbird (and superficially
they look like a hummingbird too!).

The name "sphinx" is probably in reference to the sphinx-like position that some of the caterpillars assume when disturbed. Some common vegetable, tobacco and other plant pests belong to this family of caterpillars.

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