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Virginia Creeper Hornworm

The green or brown Virginia Creeper Hornworm sits on fences and posts where the Virginia Creeper vine grows wild.


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Image Credit: Alex -icycatelf- Bowen
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Image Credit: Alex -icycatelf- Bowen
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Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Sphingidae
Genus: Darapsa
Species: myron

Caterpillar Details

Other Names:
Virginia Creeper Sphinx Moth Caterpillar

The Virginia Creeper Hornworm becomes the Virginia Creeper Sphinx Moth.

0.0 " to 1.9 " (1mm to 50mm)

green, brown, diagonal, horn, black tail, spine, white granules, white dots
Image Credit: Alex -icycatelf- Bowen
Image of virginia-creeper-sphinx-moth.jpg
Adult Form (Virginia Creeper Sphinx Moth)
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The Virginia Creeper Hornworm may be green or brown. The big, plump, and hairless caterpillar has a long spine-like 'horn' that points back over the rear end. The body and tail are covered in tiny granular dots, adding texture to the caterpillar. Each side of the body has a long white line with seven slanted lines extending downward from it. Small orange dots mark the sides of each segment. Green caterpillars may have brown spots ringed in yellow along the 'spine'. The brown caterpillars have fainter dorsal spots and may have purple or pink hues all over the body. The head matches body color and is followed by a wide bulge at the 'neck'.

This caterpillar is named after one of its native host plants, the Virginia Creeper vine. It also feeds on grape leaves though and may cause significant damage to newly planted, young grapevines. Older vines seem to tolerate the hornworm without much issue. The Virginia Creeper Hornworm is used by certain wasps and flies as food for their young so natural controls exist that generally keep the population in check. Two generations are possible in warmer states so one can find them nibbling leaves in spring and even in late autumn.©CaterpillarIdentification.org

Virginia Creeper Hornworm Diet

virginia creeper; grapevine; peppervine

Territorial Areas

Alabama; Arkansas; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Nebraska; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Vermont; Virginia; West Virginia; Wisconsin; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Mexico.
Prince Edward Is.  
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The map above showcases (in blue) the states and territories of North America where the Virginia Creeper Hornworm may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data can be useful in seeing concentrations of a particular species over the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some species are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America.*NOTE: States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Virginia Creeper Hornworm. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

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