| Home | Warning | Gear | Books | Photography | Hikes | Links | Flora & Fauna | Etiquette | About Me | What's New |



White-lined Sphinx Moth

The White-lined Sphinx Moth ranges in length from 2 1/2 to 3/12 inches. It has a prominent brown head, a brown thorax with 6 white stripes and a brown abdomen with paired dark spots on each segment. The forewings are brown with a buff-colored band from base to tip and veins outlined in white. The hind wings are pink, turning to dark brown near the margins. The moth ranges across most of North America from Mexico to central Canada; this species is most common in the western US.

Natural History

Sphinx Moth larvae change underground into adult moths, who then dig their way to the surface. Mating occurs shortly thereafter, with females laying as many as 1,000 eggs on the underside of food plants. Eggs hatch within a few days. In the Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts, there may be 2 broods, one in the Spring and another in the Summer. Males and females die after they have completed their roles in the reproductive process.

The Sphinx Moth is also called the Hawk Moth and the Hummingbird Moth because of its hovering, swift flight patterns.

Sphinx Moths emerge at dusk from their hiding places and begin feeding on the nectar of flowers. Their size, combined with their rapid wing beats, allow them to hover and feed like hummingbirds, for which they are sometimes mistaken. This manner of flying requires a great deal of energy. To meet its energy needs, the moth feeds exclusively on nectar and seeks flowers which contain high amounts of sugar (like members of the Primrose family, which the White-lined Sphinx Moth is responsible for pollinating).

Back to Flora & Fauna