Walnut Sphinx Moth

Amorpha juglandis

The Walnut Sphinx Moth grows to 1.75 to 2.75 inches. Females are larger than males. The forewing and hindwing colors are highly variable from light brown, dark brown to reddish brown. Patterns range from faint to pronounced. The outer margins of all wings are scalloped to wavy. The proboscis is very short. The caterpillar is usually green, but sometimes it can be red. The body is covered with numerous minute raised white granules. It has 7 pairs of yellow oblique lateral lines. The head is green with a prominent white line that goes from the eyes to the crown. The caudal horn is red. The caterpillar grows to nearly 2.5 inches.

The frequency of occurrence is not known. It has been photographed once at Neale Woods in early June 2016. These moths are found in woodlands, forests and fields from the eastern US and southeastern Canada west to Texas and north to Manitoba. Adults fly from May to August.

The larvae feed on the leaves of alder, black walnut, butternut, cherry, hazel hickory and hop hornbeam. Adults do not feed. When touched, the caterpillar produces a hissing whistle by forcing air out of the spiracles. It also thrashes when disturbed.

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