Banded Sphinx Moth (Eumorpha fasciatus)

Banded Sphinx Moth

​Eumorpha fasciatus

​Eumorpha fasciatus.​ 2nd Form. (Photo by Eric Whetmore). (Kansas: Sedgwick County. Heller's Park, Wichita.  37°45'32.61"N,  97°20'48.34"W. August 2011). 

 

 

​Eumorpha fasciatus. 1st From. (From http://bugguide.net/node/view/4747).

 

​Caterpillar Diagnosis (5th Instar): Large, cylindrical, bulbous body. Two Forms. 1st Form: Usually light green, with white diagonal stripes, pointing toward the head, with black bordered white spiracles interrupting the diagonal stripes; 2nd Form: Usually yellow to green base color, with white diagonal stripes, pointing toward the head, with black bordered white spiracles interrupting the diagonal stripes. Also, red/green/black striping along top half. Caterpillar leaves large fecal pellets along leaf grooves. 

E. faciatus adult moth ( from htttp://bugguide.net/node/view/82974).

 

 

E. faciatus adult moth ( from http://annmgordon.com/BandedSphinx.html).

 

Adult Moth Diagnosis: Beautiful banded moth with greenish tinged, with characteristic brown striped "X" on body, head pointing downward. Fore wings brown with black barring-brown makes a letter "Y" (top pointing toward body). Hind wing similar to adult fore wing  in pattern, but strongly pink tinged. 
 
 


Life History: Moths lay large, spherical, smooth eggs on the lower surface of foodplant leaves. The hatched larvae (caterpillars) feed on leaves, preferring the middle of the blade. Caterpillars usually go through five instars of wide varying colors and patterns, where fifth instar is a characterstic 1st or 2nd form (See above diagnosis). Mature larvae leave host foodplant to bury themselves in an underground cavity in fall. Caterpillars pupate during winter, then crawl out of their burrows in Spring (Appear May-August) as Moths. The Moths are crepuscular to nocturnal and feed on nectar. 

 

Distribution: Central Midwest, Texas, and throughout the Southeastern United States;  

Common distribution of Eumorpha fasciatus in the United States  (Image adapted by Eric Whetmore from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Blank_US_Map.svg).

 

Habitat: Anywhere foodplants grow-typically moist environments, wetlands and woodland.

 

Foodplants: Prefers Primrose, Willow, Virginia Creeper, Ampelopsis, and most Onagracae.

 

Conservation Status: Unknown

 

Links: 

http://bugguide.net/node/view/4747

http://www.silkmoths.bizland.com/efascfas.htm

http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Eumorpha-fasciatus

http://butterflies.heuristron.net/moths/bandedSphinx.html

http://annmgordon.com/BandedSphinx.html

 

References:

Ross, H. & Arnett, J. 2000. American Insects. 2nd Ed. CRC Press LLC, New York, NY.

Wagner, David L. 2005. Caterpillars of Eastern North America: A Guide to Identification and Natural History. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ. 

 

Submitted by: Eric Whetmore, November 2011

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