Today, December 21, 2016, as I was heading out on a slightly chilly morning, I noticed a Tersa Sphinx Moth perched on my metal stair railing, next to my Florida Room, at the front of my house. I stopped to grab my digital camera to snap a few photos.

Tersa Sphinx Moth - Leesburg, Florida, December 21, 2016
Tersa Sphinx Moth - Leesburg, Florida, December 21, 2016

I am a very patient, older gal, who had been waiting about six weeks to actually see this very moth. It never flinched as I snapped away at several photos.

Tersa Sphinx Moth - Leesburg, Florida, December 21, 2016
Tersa Sphinx Moth - Leesburg, Florida, December 21, 2016

Over the past six weeks, I had the privilege to observe the various stages of metamorphosis of this species of moth, from caterpillar to pupa to moth. I am actually waiting to see if a moth emerges from a pupa I have observed for nearly six weeks.

Tersa Sphinx Moth - Leesburg, Florida, December 21, 2016
Tersa Sphinx Moth - Leesburg, Florida, December 21, 2016

It was November 6, 2016 in Leesburg, Florida, that I first learned of the Tersa Sphinx Moth. I had probably seen that moth throughout my Florida gardens previously, but never knew it was the Tersa Sphinx Moth. That is such an interesting name for a moth that seems to have wings like a Stealth aircraft!

Tersa Sphinx Moth Caterpillar - November 6th

On November 6th, I actually spotted a most unique caterpillar in the corner of my carport, near my side entry door. At first look, it appeared to be a possibly dead millipede ... that was, until I touched it and it moved. Wow, what an amazing insect with those false eyes and the look of a black stinger at the top of its tail end.

Tersa Sphinx Moth Caterpillar - Leesburg, Florida, November 6, 2016
Tersa Sphinx Moth Caterpillar - Leesburg, Florida, November 6, 2016

When I first saw this caterpillar, I had no idea that it was already preparing to enter the pupa stage. It was lethargic, making me think something might be wrong with it.

Tersa Sphinx Moth Caterpillar - Leesburg, Florida, November 6, 2016
Tersa Sphinx Moth Caterpillar - Leesburg, Florida, November 6, 2016

Researching the Tersa Sphinx Moth, I learned that a host plant is the Penta. I actually placed that caterpillar out in my front yard, at the base of my periwinkles next to the penta.

Tersa Sphinx Moth Pupa - November 10th

Tersa Sphinx Moth Pupa - Leesburg, Florida, November 10, 2016
Tersa Sphinx Moth Pupa - Leesburg, Florida, November 10, 2016

When I checked back on November 10th to see how the caterpillar was doing, I noticed it had begun to transform into a pupa. That was when I found a plastic jar in which I placed the pupa. I loosely placed the lid over the top of the jar to keep other critters out. I have checked on the status of the pupa daily, in that jar, since November 10th!

Tersa Sphinx Moth Pupa - Leesburg, Florida, November 30, 2016
Tersa Sphinx Moth Pupa - Leesburg, Florida, November 30, 2016

The Tersa Sphinx Moth Pupa on November 30th appeared fairly uniform in width throughout the length of the pupa.

 Tersa Sphinx Moth Pupa - December 21st

Tersa Sphinx Moth Pupa - Leesburg, Florida, December 21, 2016
Tersa Sphinx Moth Pupa - Leesburg, Florida, December 21, 2016
Tersa Sphinx Moth Pupa - Leesburg, Florida, December 21, 2016
Tersa Sphinx Moth Pupa - Leesburg, Florida, December 21, 2016
Tersa Sphinx Moth Pupa - Leesburg, Florida, December 21, 2016
Tersa Sphinx Moth Pupa - Leesburg, Florida, December 21, 2016

It has been over 40 days that I have observed the Tersa Sphinx Moth in its Pupa stage. Judging by the look of the Pupa today, it seems there is a bit of transformation. Notice the long dark stripe that extends from top to bottom on the pupa? I am wondering if per chance the sighting of the Tersa Sphinx Moth this morning, might signal that the new moth is about to emerge from the pupa stage?