Florida Nature Pictures

Alope Sphinx Moth or Hawk Moth Life Cycle
Erinnyis alope

Erinnyis alope egg
Erinnyis alope egg

Erinnyis alope eggs. Some eggs were on the lower side of the leaves while
others were on the upper sides.

Erinnyis alope Caterpillar

Here is a very young, probably first instar caterpillar.
You can see the horn or spine at the back end.

Alope Sphinx Moth Erinnyis alope Caterpillar

Erinnyis alope Caterpillar

Erinnyis alope Caterpillar

The older caterpillars have a distinct eye spot behind the head. When threatened, the caterpillar arches up
and displays the eye spot to scare away predators.
The caterpillar all the way to the right is about 3" long or 80cm.
It is about ready to pupate.
These were all found on papaya plants.

Erinnyis alope Caterpillar
Silken Cover

Once the caterpillar is ready to pupate, it stops eating, drops to the ground and burrows in the ground under leaf litter.
This is what it looks like after one day under the leaf litter. It lightly spun silk onto the leaf litter
to form a sort of leaf cover over itself.

Erinnyis alope Pupa

Erinnyis alope Pupa

Erinnyis alope Pupa

After 4 full days, the pupa was finally fully formed. The cocoons are VERY motile.
One touch and it wiggles and squirms as a defense against would be predators.

Erinnyis alope Moth

Erinnyis alope Sphinx

Erinnyis alope Hawk Moth

20 days after it first went underground, the beautiful Sphinx Moth emerged.
The wings begin to vibrate very fast when they are about the start flying.


Parasitized Caterpillar

Here is a very unfortunate hawkmoth caterpillar that has been infected with
larvae of a parasitic wasp.

Parasitic Wasp

In less than 2 days, this cottony cloud of wasp eggs was on the leaf where
the caterpillar used to be.
The wasps that emerged were only about 3cm long. Very tiny!



Family: Sphinx Moths, Hawkmoths (Sphingidae)
Erinnyis alope

Caterpillar hosts plants: Papaya ,Nettlespurge, and Allamanda

11 /2009



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