While walking along the lake's edge during our visit to St. Catherine Creek NWR, I happened to spot a caterpillar curled up in one of the grassy plants. Its size (about 3 inches long) surprised me and I broke off the small stem the caterpillar rested on so I could get a closer look. I haven't seen many caterpillars in my life and I had no idea what kind of moth or butterfly this one would eventually morph into.
Of course, Google search provided an answer. This is a Banded Sphinx Moth caterpillar, a common species in the southeastern part of the United States. Host plants include primrose-willow and other plants in the evening primrose family. An adult moth has a wing span of approximately 3.5 inches. Photos and more information about the sphinx moth can be found here.
Have a wonderful weekend!!!