The Gaudy Sphinx Moth is found truly an American moth because its range includes all three Americas: North, Central, and South America. It is found as far south as parts of Argentina. In North America, it rarely ventures north of the Gulf coast states, Arizona, and New Mexico. The green striking green moth has little pattern on it, but when it spreads its wings open, a riot of color on the hindwings mesmerizes. The multicolored eyespots are blue, white, red, and yellow.
The adult is a spectacle, and the larva is astonishing. The brown caterpillar has large eyespots on the side of the head and a single eyespot by the rear end. Yellow bands and diagonal patterning on the body are reminiscent of certain types of snakes. As it matures, the head actually bulges out the sides, creating the same shape as a snake's head. A black spine grows out of the eyespot at the rear. Though it seems like a short snake, this caterpillar's mimicry can befuddle people as well as predators. This advantageous appearance increases the caterpillar’s chance of survival because snakes are generally left alone, especially in tropical habitats. Look for them on the ground or on trees. Look for adults in foliage where their coloring is best suited for concealment.
General Characteristics Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
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.
Territorial Map U.S., Canada, and Mexico
Prince Edward Is.
Butterfly and Moth Anatomy
Antennae: Butterflies and Moths have a pair of antennae on the head used for sensing.
Head: The head is home to the insect's eyes, antennae, and proboscis.
Thorax: Home to the three pairs of legs as well as vital internal organs.
Abdomen: Contains vital internal organs such as the heart(s) and reproduction facilities.
Forewing: The upper, forward wing pair used for flying.
Hindwing: The lower, rearward wing pair used for flying.
NOTE: Butterflies and Moths are part of the Lepidopteran order as they share many similarities.