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Waved Sphinx Moth (Ceratomia undulosa)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Waved Sphinx Moth.

 Updated: 8/16/2018; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.InsectIdentification.org




Though it is a common moth, the Waved Sphinx has a size and pattern that lend it a good degree of distinction.



Big and brown, the Waved Sphinx moth has a series of wavy lines that cross its forewings. A white spot sits almost centered on each wing. Black dashes look like pleats and run vertically down the wing, but none are close to the base. The furry brown thorax is ringed in black with white along the inner bottom edge. Lighter hairs inside this ring almost resemble closed eyes. Hindwings have a black-and-white checkered fringe. Adults are not known to eat. They are commonly sighted on tree bark, where their colors and pattern give them camouflage. Some may also be found resting on walls of buildings and windowscreens.

Caterpillars feed on the leaves of ash, hawthorn, oak, and fringe trees as well as privet hedges. The two-toned green body of the caterpillar may have a blush of red on it, as if it got a bit of sunburn. Yellow diagonal lines along the sides of the body point back toward a long yellow or white horn at the rear. Tiny red dots mark the side of each segment. The head has a yellow or pink line running from each eye to the top of the head. One to two generations are produced each year.




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Lepidoptera
        Family: Sphingidae
          Genus: Ceratomia
            Species: undulosa
Identifying Information
Scientific Name: Ceratomia undulosa
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 78mm to 110mm (3.04in to 4.29in)
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown, black, white, tan, gray
Descriptors: large, huge, wavy, zigzag, white spot, black lines, flying
Territorial Map
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
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Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
Canadian National Flag Graphic
Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Saskatchewan
Mexican National Flag Graphic
Mexico
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
Graphic showing basic anatomy of a common North American butterfly and moth insect
1
Antennae: Butterflies and Moths have a pair of antennae on the head used as sensors.
2
Head: The head is home to the insect's eyes, antennae, and proboscis.
3
Thorax: Home to the three pairs of legs as well as vital internal organs.
4
Abdomen: Contains vital internal organs such as the heart(s) and reproduction facilities.
5
Forewing: The upper, forward wing pair used for flying.
6
Hindwing: The lower, rearward wing pair used for flying.
NOTE: Butterflies and Moths are part of the Lepidopteran order as they share many similarities.