Attack of the White-lined Sphinx Caterpillar, Anza-Borrego


They were everywhere, the caterpillars of the white-lined Sphinx moth, in a field of wildflowers at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in southern California. I saw one, then noticed more—and more. Some plants had as many as four chomping away at their flowers. What seemed like different species of bug turns out to be the same, Hyles lineata. Their population seems to skyrocket when there is a corresponding explosion of flowers—a ‘superbloom’—like there was this year, one of the rare spectacles that my wife and I got to experience.

Green-colored variation of the sphinx caterpillar

IMG_8598

Anza-Borrego had a wildflower superbloom

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