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Achemon Sphinx Moth (Eumorpha achemon)

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

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The large Achemon Sphinx Moth comes out at night, but if you're up, look for its bright flashes of pink when it stretches its hindwings.

Updated: 07/06/2021; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Achemon Sphinx Moths are members of the hawkmoth family. They are large, strong and fast. This species is nocturnal and can be found sipping nectar from a variety of flowers including Japanese honeysuckle, phlox and petunias. Their wings can beat so quickly that they may be mistaken for a hummingbird. They span most of the North American continent and are on the wing throughout the summer.

Adults are a light brown or tan color with symmetrical dark brown patches near the 'shoulders', as well as at the middle and tip of each wing. When wings are spread, the smaller hindwings reveal a bright pink color. Furry legs are covered in cream colored hairs. As lovely and large as the moths are, their offspring are undesirable to vintners.

The larval caterpillar is also brown, like the adult. They are larger than members of other families of caterpillars. Seven short white lines run diagonally down the side of the hairless body from the head to its other end. It is a part of the hornworm group of caterpillars thanks to a long spine, or "horn", at the end of its body. As the caterpillar grows and matures, the horn is eventually lost and an eyespot develops instead. This species feeds on the leaves of grapevines and is known to be a pest in vineyards. Virginia creeper and woodbine are other popular food sources for this caterpillar. It is usually seen chewing leaves in August and September.

General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Flying insect icon
Harmful insect icon
Pest insect icon


Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Lepidoptera
        Family: Sphingidae
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          Genus: Eumorpha
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            Species: achemon
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Eumorpha achemon
Other Name(s): Grape Sphinx Moth
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 87mm to 96mm (3.42" to 3.77")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown, pink
Descriptors: flying, pest, harmful

Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 87mm (3.4in) and 96mm (3.8in)
Lo: 87mm
Md: 91.5mm
Hi: 96mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Achemon Sphinx Moth may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Achemon Sphinx Moth. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.


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