The Laurel Sphinx is streamlined and sleek, always impressing with its wide wingspan and aerodynamic styling.
Laurel Sphinx Moths are quite big, easily filling up a gentle, open hand. The brown moth has black and brown stripes on its furry thorax. The abdomen is brown with a black line along the 'spine'. The sides have short bands of black and white from head to rear. The wings of the Laurel Sphinx come to a point, and its resting position takes the shape of an arrowhead. Light brown lines streak down the length of the forewings, creating the illusion of having bones in its wings. Shorter hindwings are black and white. Antennae are white. Laurel Sphinx Moths are widespread throughout the eastern part of the continent and are found in woodlands as well as backyards, gardens, and plant nurseries.
The caterpillar of the Laurel Sphinx Moth is fleshy and green. The green head has a black and white striped diagonal line running down both sides of its face. The true legs (by the head) are also black and white. Its fleshy prolegs (by the rear) are black and yellow. A vivid diagonal line on each segment is tri-colored: black-white-yellow. The rear end has a spiky blue horn covered in tiny black bumps. They tend to feed on foliage from ash trees, lilac shrubs, privet hedges, and olive and fringe trees. There are some reports that they are also fond of mountain laurel, but the moth's scientific name is actually derived from a Finnish botantist, Pehr Kalm, not that particular plant. His last name also happened to be similar to the laurel plant family's Latin name (Kalmia), so the moth's common name unintentionally reflected that more than the botanist. Adults drink from Japanese honeysuckle and common soapwort blossoms. Two broods can be produced each year.
Scientific Name: Sphinx kalmiae
Other Name(s): Fawn Sphinx
Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 75mm to 103mm (2.93in to 4.02in)
Colors: brown, black, white
Descriptors: streamlined, pointy wings, black-and-white-body, black spine, line, large, flying
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Butterfly and Moth Anatomy
Antennae: Butterflies and Moths have a pair of antennae on the head used as sensors.
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.