So I'm strolling along, taking phtos of the spittlebug nymphs, when all the sudden I spot a HUGE CATERPILLAR chomping away on our white butterfly gaura! Then James spots another one, then another one! There must have been at least five big babies! Upon closer examination, I announced that "there are white-lined sphinx caterpillars!" Remember all the sphinx moths we had in our gardens a couple of weeks ago? They left their calling cards! Cool, eh?
White-lined sphinx (Hyles lineata) feed on a variety of host plants, including those in the Onagraceae (evening-primrose) family. Yep, gaura is classified in the family. When they're done eating our gaura, these caterpillars will pupate in shallow burrows in the ground.