Borrego Part 2
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Borrego Valley March 2015 Part 2
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White-Lined Sphinx Moth Caterpillars (Hyles lineata)

Masses Of Caterpillars Were Rapidly Consuming The Dune Evening Primrose
(Oenothera deltoides ssp. deltoides). I Hope Some Of The Plants Were Able To
Produce Seeds For Next Year's Wildflower Season.

Most of the wildflowers in this image are desert sunflower (Gerarea canescens) and desert sand verbena (Abronia villosa var. villosa)

Caterpillars Burrowing Into The Sand To Pupate

More Images Of White-Lined Sphinx Moth (Hyles lineata)

White-lined sphinx moth (Hyles lineata). Left: Larva in Borrego Springs feeding on brown-eyed evening primrose (Camissonia claviformis ssp. piersonii). Like the tomato hornworm (Manduca sexta), the larva (called a hornworm) has a horn-like projection at its posterior end. Although formidable in appearance, the spine is harmless and is apparently only "for show" to discourage predators. Like the tomato hornworm, the larva burrows into the ground to pupate; however, the pupa lacks the peculiar "jug handle" of the tomato hornworm. During spring with sufficient winter rainfall and abundant wildflowers, these caterpillars literally swarm on desert vegetation. They have a voracious appetite for a variety of wildflowers, and will even feed on some cultivated species. Right: Adult moth taking off from a light box. The common name refers to the broad, oblique stripe running from the base to the tip of the forewing; the stripe is interrupted by numerous transverse white streaks. The hind wing is pink with black at the base and margins. The name "sphinx moth" refers to the alarm posture of the larvae. With its anterior end reared back and head tucked under, it suggests the famous Sphinx edifice in Egypt.

Immature larva of (Hyles lineata) on the leaf of Gazania rigens var. leucolaena.

Adult White-Lined Sphinx Moth.

  Hyles lineata Hovering While Feeding On Penstemon Flowers  
Hyles lineata Larva Feeding On Wildflowers In Burned Area
A Hawkmoth That Feeds On Jimsonweed & Tomatoes