Elm Sphinx Moth

Ceratomia amyntor

This large Sphinx moth has a wingspan of 3.5 to 4.5 inches. The forewing is pale brown along the costa. A line of black streaks separates the brown area from the interior portion, which is gray. The reniform spot is white. The hindwing is pale gray with a dark brown border. The caterpillar is brown or green with a pair of horns projecting from the 2nd and 3rd thoracic segments. There are scale-like plates on the mid-dorsal line. The caudal horn on the 8th abdominal segment is white. The mature caterpillar grows to 3.5 inches.

The frequency of occurrence in Fontenelle Forest and Neale Woods is not known. It has been photographed at Fontenelle Forest Nature Center in late April. The adult moths are attracted to artificial lights.

The larval host plants are basswood, birch, elm. There is one generation in our area. Caterpillars can be found on the undersides of leaves. When alarmed, the larva rears back and tucks its head beneath the thorax.

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