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  • Big Poplar Sphinx Moth - (Pachysphinx occidentalis)

    Big Poplar Sphinx Moth - (Pachysphinx occidentalis)

    The large and quick Big Poplar Sphinx Moth is at home in the wild and domesticated West.

    Staff Writer (6/22/2017): Sphinx Moths are first recognized for their great size. They are the biggest of the Hawk Moths in western North America. Despite having a huge wingspan over 11cm (4.3 inches), the enormous, seemingly hefty, furry Big Poplar Sphinx Moth is exceedingly fast in the air. It may slow down to sun itself on a bright day, but it is mighty in flight, just like a hawk.

    The caterpillar for this moth is a pale green with a sharp-looking horn (looks more like a thorn) at its tail end. This horn has a pale stripe on it as well as thin diagonal pale stripes running along the sides of the body. Small white spots dot the sides. Poplar, cottonwood and willow tree leaves make up the bulk of this caterpillar's diet. Once it has grown in size, the caterpillar pupates in a cocoon made of earth just under the ground's surface. It emerges as an adult moth.

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    Details of the:
    Big Poplar Sphinx Moth

    Category: Butterfly or Moth
    Common name: Big Poplar Sphinx Moth
    Scientific Name: Pachysphinx occidentalis
    Other Names: Western Poplar Sphinx Moth

      Kingdom: Animalia
       Phylum: Arthropoda
        Class: Insecta
         Order: Lepidoptera
          Family: Sphingidae
           Genus: Pachysphinx
            Species: occidentalis

    Size (Adult, Length): 115mm to 150mm (4.53in to 5.91in)

    Identifying Colors: brown, white, tan, ivory, pink

    Additional Descriptors: large, flying, furry, hairy, striped

    North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alaska; Arizona; California; Colorado; Idaho; Montana; Nevada; New Mexico; Oklahoma; Oregon; Texas; Utah; Washington; Wyoming; British Columbia; Mexico

    * Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.

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