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 bones in the wings. Shorter hindwings are black and white. Antennae are white. They are widespread throughout the eastern part of the continent and are found in woodlands as well as backyards, gardens, and plant nurseries.
The caterpillar 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. 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 their name is derived from a Finnish botantist, Pehr Kalm, whose last name is similar to that of the laurel plant family's Latin name (Kalmia). 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
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
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.