Pandorus Sphinx Moth

Better Half and I drove out to Ferda's Garden Center this afternoon in search of more heliotrope. This has become our favorite gardening destination. We enjoyed visiting with Bob Ferda and he sold us the very last heliotrope on site - a beautifully arranged basket. (I swear, I will cover my entire yard in concrete and throw away my gardening gloves if FGC ever closes down.)

On our way out, we spotted a gorgeous sphinx moth clinging  to a window screen. Bob didn't mind us taking a few snapshots of the little fellow.  The Sphingidae family interests me and I've blogged one sighting before. Without further ado...

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Pandorus Sphinx Moth, © 2012 T. Mininni-Totin.
PANDORUS SPHINX MOTH

CATEGORY: Butterfly or Moth
OTHER NAMES: Pandora Sphinx Moth
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Eumorpha pandorus

IUCN RED LIST:  3.1
NCGR: G5
ADULT SIZE (Length, not including legs): 82mm to 115mm (3.23in to 4.53in; males smaller than females
IDENTIFYING COLORS: tan; brown, white, pink, green/olive green; yellow; orange

TAXONOMY:
 KINGDOM: Animalia
  PHYLYM: Arthropoda
   CLASS: Insecta
    ORDER: Lepidoptera
     SUPERFAMILY: Spingoidea (Dyar, 1902)

      FAMILY: Sphingidae (Latreille, 1802)
        SUBFAMILY: Macroglossinae (Harris, 1839)

         TRIBE: Philampelini (Burmeister)
          GENUS: Eumorpha (Hubner, 1807)
            SPECIES: pandorus (Hubner, 1821)



COLORATION:
The moth's upperside is light brown with shades of olive green to green. The forewing has pink streaks along vein ends and near the inner margin, and a dark squarish mark at the middle of the inner margin. The area from the base to the squarish mark is dark green. The underside usually is yellow-green, but sometimes is pale brown. 1  Additional coloration may include orange in place of pink, or deep chocolate/black.


RANGE:  
UNITED STATES: Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin.
CANADA: Nova Scotia, Ontario. They are reportedly rare in Quebec.

Photograph of Virginia Creeper by Aydin
BEHAVIOR:
Adults remain relatively quiet during the day, taking flight at dawn and dusk. They tend to gather close to vineyards, forested areas or river edges where their caterpillar's food plants are plentiful. Courtship is initiated by the female via the release of pheromones; males fly into the wind to locate the female. Eggs are laid one at a time. Caterpillars are dedicated leaf-eaters, hanging out on the undersides of leaves.2   Fully-grown caterpillars pupate in shallow chambers in the soil.


CATERPILLAR HOSTS:
Grape (Vitis), Peppervine (Ampelopsis arborea), and Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia)

ADULT FOOD:
Nectar from flowers including petunia (Petunia hybrida), bouncing bet (Saponaria officinalis), and white campion (Lychnis alba) 3
Pandorus Sphinx Moth, © 2012 T. Mininni-Totin.



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1 "Sphingidae of the Americas" website, Bill Oehlke

Virginia Creeper photograph by Aydin Örstan


 






1 responded with...:

Annie said...

What he lacks in prettiness he more than makes up for in design and style.