Catepillar Identification

Asked August 11, 2018, 1:14 PM EDT

What type of caterpillar is this and is it a pest?

Prince George's County Maryland

1 Response

Looks like a catalpa sphinx moth caterpillar. There is quite a bit of variation in the color patterns of this caterpillar.
It can defoliate an entire tree some years, but catalpas are tough and just come back the next year just fine. The caterpillar may have high populations one year and nothing the next. A lot of population flux depends on weather that benefits them, or may benefit their predators!