The flashes of fuchsia on the abdomen and hindwings of the Pink-spotted Hawkmoth catch the eye.
A type of Sphinx moth, the Pink-spotted Hawkmoth is a large and impressive. Overall, the moth is brown, but in most individuals, a series of short, bright pink bands line the sides of the abdomen with black bands between them. A brown line along the 'spine' separates both sides. Two blue eyespots sit atop the abdomen. Forewings have wavy dark lines crossing them as well as a row of round spots near the bottom edge. The smaller hindwings hide similar pink coloring, which is revealed only when all the wings are opened wide and flat.
Pink-spotted Hawkmoths are typically found in the warmer states of the southern U.S. and all of Mexico. Up to three generations a year can be produced in these areas. Some migrate as far north as Ontario and eastward. Larvae feed on paw paws, a fruit grown almost exclusively in the South. Sweet potatoes, morning glory, and jimsonweed are also popular food sources. Late season juveniles pupate underground in the winter and emerge as adults in the spring. Look for adults coming to lights at night from spring to late autumn in the warmer regions.
Scientific Name: Agrius cingulata
Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 95mm to 120mm (3.71in to 4.68in)
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.