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Abbott's Sphinx Moth

Deep, rich colors on the adult Abbott's Sphinx Moth masks the quirky appearance of its caterpillar form.


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Image Credit: Ginette M. from Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Full-sized image #1 of the Abbott's Sphinx Moth Thumbnail image #1 of the Abbott's Sphinx Moth
Image Credit: Ginette M. from Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Full-sized image #2 of the Abbott's Sphinx Moth Thumbnail image #2 of the Abbott's Sphinx Moth
Image Credit: Chad S. in Illinois.
Full-sized image #3 of the Abbott's Sphinx Moth Thumbnail image #3 of the Abbott's Sphinx Moth

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Sphingidae
Genus: Sphecodina
Species: abbottii

Sphinx Moths are generally large moths, and Abott's Sphinx falls in line with its family. This hefty moth is the size of a small bird. The tip of its abdomen even has hairs that resemble tail feathers. The brown wings are more slender than typical moth wings, and their wavy bottom edges look like something nibbled away at them. Smaller hindwings show a bit of yellow only when they are spread completely open.

Like many larva, this moth's caterpillar changes color as it matures. Its early instar is green with a red-orange knob. The most striking form has a dark body with 10 large, minty green spots along its 'spine' and sides. The knob becomes a slightly raised black eyespot by the rear end, making it look like a cyclops. The head, on the other end, has two-toned coloring to match the body. Another common color scheme is tan and brown with a wood grain pattern that blends in nicely with tree trunks and branches.

In the hottest, most southern part of its range, this moth can have two flights in a single year, but the majority of states and provinces will only see one, and that usually happens in early summer.©ButterflyIdentification.org

The Abbott's Sphinx Moth is typically 1.9 inches to 2.7 inches (50mm to 70mm) in size and has the following descriptors / identifiers: pointy, v-shape, flying, lines, wavy, caterpillar green spots.

It has a typical diet of the following: nectar; grapevine.

Color Identification Guide

Various colors commonly associated with this Moth.


Territorial Area Map (Visual Reference Guide)

The map below showcases (in blue) the states and territories of North America where the Abbott's Sphinx Moth may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data can be useful in seeing concentrations of a particular species over the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some species are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America.
Prince Edward Is.  
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Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic

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