The sizeable Virginia Creeper Sphinx comes in in two earthy colors that reflect the environment: army green and woodland brown.
Part of the Sphinx family, the Virginia Creeper Sphinx has a wingspan that can reach 65 mm (just over 2.5 inches) wide. Its muted coloring comes in bands of light and dark across the wings. Some individuals are shades of forest green while others are shades of chocolate brown. All have a small, dark 'v'-shaped mark on each forewing in the light, middle band. The lower dark band has an even darker patch in its outer edge. Hindwings peek out from under the forewings by the abdomen, and are orange with brown along the exposed, inner edge. The hair on the head and thorax is dark save for a pale, raised center patch of hair.
Two broods can be produced each year, with populations showing year-round activity in warm states like Florida. Caterpillars are pudgy and either green or brown with a thick, fleshy horn at the rear. The body is covered with tiny white granules and the horn itself may have black shading on it. There is some variation in markings depending on maturity. Some have yellow spots with orange centers along the 'spine'. Others have white diagonal lines along the sides that connect near the 'spine'. They all feed on Virginia creeper as well as grapevines. Viburnum and peppervine are also host plants for these larvae.
Look for flying adults from spring through early autumn in areas where vines are growing: woodlands, fences, abandoned lots. They may be in groups though they are more often seen alone.
Scientific Name: Darapsa myron
Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 28mm to 38mm (1.09in to 1.48in)
Colors: green, white, brown, orange
Descriptors: bands, dark green, curved wing, flying, large, mohawk
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.