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Abbott's Sphinx Moth (Sphecodina abbottii)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Abbott's Sphinx Moth.

 Updated: 5/21/2018; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.InsectIdentification.org




Shades of dark green, gray, and purple cover most of the large Abbott's Sphinx, but a bright white 'tail feather' punctuates this moth's many features.



Big enough to sit in the hand of an adult, the Abbott's Sphinx Moth is an elegant member of this family of giants. Deep undertones of purple cover most of the moth and its wings. A thick black band crosses behind the grayish head, giving it the appearance of a collar. The wide abdomen is crossed with bands of gray, ivory, black, and purple until the very end where a three-pronged creamy white tip resembles feathers seen on birds. The wings are dark both where they connect to the body and along the bottom edges. A central band of lighter coloring is sandwiched between. The bottoms of the forewings and hindwings have irregular scalloped edges. If the wings are spread wide enough, a flash of bright yellow can be seen on the top of the hindwings near the abdomen. Look for flying adults near lights at night.

Young caterpillars are green and fleshy with a long horn at the rear end that looks like a stinger. As it matures, this horn becomes a raised knob that looks like a button. Short white stripes cross the segments of the tubular body. Eventually, the caterpillar will become a mottled brown color that blends in well with branches and leaf litter, or it will become dark brown with 9 large green spots along the 'spine' that stop at the raised knob. The knob has a pattern on it that resembles an eyespot and two bands of green come after it near the rear. They feed on grapevines and peppervines.




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Lepidoptera
        Family: Sphingidae
          Genus: Sphecodina
            Species: abbottii
Identifying Information
Scientific Name: Sphecodina abbottii
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 50mm to 70mm (1.95in to 2.73in)
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: green, brown, purple, black, gray, white
Descriptors: pointy, v-shape, flying, lines
Territorial Map
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
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State of Colorado graphic
State of Delware graphic
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State of New Mexico graphic
State of New York graphic
State of North Carolina graphic
State of North Dakota graphic
State of Ohio graphic
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State of South Carolina graphic
State of South Dakota graphic
State of Tennessee graphic
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State of Utah graphic
State of Virginia graphic
State of Washington graphic
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State of Wyoming graphic
Canadian territory of Alberta graphic
Canadian territory of British Columbia graphic
Canadian territory of Manitoba graphic
Canadian territory of New Brunswick graphic
Canadian territory of Newfoundland and Labrador graphic
Canadian territory of Ontario graphic
Canadian territory of Quebec graphic
Canadian territory of Saskatchewan graphic
Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic


Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
Canadian National Flag Graphic
Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Saskatchewan
Mexican National Flag Graphic
Mexico
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.




Butterfly and Moth Anatomy
Graphic showing basic anatomy of a common North American butterfly and moth insect
1
Antennae: Butterflies and Moths have a pair of antennae on the head used as sensors.
2
Head: The head is home to the insect's eyes, antennae, and proboscis.
3
Thorax: Home to the three pairs of legs as well as vital internal organs.
4
Abdomen: Contains vital internal organs such as the heart(s) and reproduction facilities.
5
Forewing: The upper, forward wing pair used for flying.
6
Hindwing: The lower, rearward wing pair used for flying.
NOTE: Butterflies and Moths are part of the Lepidopteran order as they share many similarities.