SPHINX MOTHS (Sphingidae)
The Hermit Sphinx moth has a wingspan of 2.5 – 3 inches and a total length of 1.5 inches. The forewing is grayish-brown with wavy, black lines. Black dashes extend from the median area to the apex. The black-edged reniform spot (sometimes double) is white. The hindwing is black with broad, white median and postmedian bands. The caterpillar grows to 3.5 inches. The early and middle instars are light green, sometimes with brown dorsal spots. Later instars are dark brown with a large black eye spot on the thorax. The 2nd thoracic segment is strongly humped.
The first sighting of this moth in Fontenelle Forest was during a mothing event on June 18, 2018 when it came to lights. It occurs from Nova Scotia south to the mountains of north Carolina west to Manitoba, Nebraska and Arkansas. It is rare southward. The adults can be found in meadows, fields and gardens nectaring at dusk. Look for it from June to August.
The larvae eat the leaves of bee balm, mint, bugleweed and sage. The species was formerly in the genus Sphinx until 2007.
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