The Walnut Sphinx Moth is frequently seen east of the Rocky Mountains where nut trees grow in abundance.
Native to deciduous woodlands, Walnut Sphinx Moths are highly common throughout Missouri with limited appearances in certain portions of other states east of the Rocky Mountains. As a member of the Sphinx Moth family, a robust size is typical for this moth.
Colors of the Walnut Sphinx Moth differ between individuals so it makes identification of this species a bit more challenging than usual. Overall, they maintain a light or dark brown coloring with bands of white or even pink. The patterns along the wings may or may not appear highly visible at first. With wings extended, these insects tend to take on a more rectangular shape when viewed from above. Their antennae are comb-like and their bodies appear to be covered in thick hair with the exception of their feet.
Adult Walnut Sphinx Moths do not eat. They can produce a single brood in the northern states, between May and August, but two broods in the warmer south. Walnut Sphinx caterpillars eat the leaves of walnut, butternut, hickory, alder, beech, hazelnut, and hophornbeam trees. They are capable of making a "squeaking" sound when threatened. It is likely a defensive move that startles a potential predator enough to leave them alone.
Scientific Name: Amorpha juglandis
Other Name(s): Sphinx Moth; Hawkmoth
Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 45mm to 75mm (1.76in to 2.93in)
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.