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Pandorus Sphinx Moth (Eumorpha pandorus)


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



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Image Credit: Carolyn F. from Plain, WI
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Image Credit: Stella from MA
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Image Credit: Miriam M. from Nashville, TN
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The Pandorus Sphinx Moth is a large, mossy green moth with an almost modern design that hides among foliage in the eastern part of the continent.



Updated: 08/02/2020; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
This hawk moth boasts a robust size. Some hawk moths are even occasionally mistaken for small birds. In general, hawk moths are fast fliers and nocturnal. The Pandorus Sphinx Moth has a camouflage-like pattern with army green colors and earthy undertones. The rotund abdomen has a dark green band followed by a bright white band just after the head and thorax area. The rest of the abdomen is a lighter shade of muted green. The head and thorax are mostly cream colored with a dark green stripe running down the middle. The sides of the thorax are dark green. Forewings are narrow and aerodynamic, quite unlike the wide feathery wings seen in many other moths.

Caterpillars of this moth are either green or a bright orange-red color with 6 white spots on the sides of their body. The first spot is much smaller than the other five. A single black eyespot sits near the rear. The green head of the caterpillar tucks into the body when threatened in order to hide it from predators. It can possibly survive an attack on its rear, but it's game over if the caterpillar loses its head. It can be found eating grapes and grapevines as well as the leaves of Virginia creeper, a native vine.

The Pandorus Sphinx Moth drinks nectar from various flowers so it is most likely to be found in gardens, vineyards, near rivers, or in meadows. It can also be found near forest edges or blending in with the foliage inside woodlands. This species is attracted to lights at night and is active from spring through fall. It enjoys warmer climates and is best viewed at dusk or dawn, when it is most active.




General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Flying 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: pandorus
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Eumorpha pandorus
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 82mm to 115mm (3.22" to 4.52")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown; tan; white; pink; yellow; green; olive; gray
Descriptors: marbled, flying

Pandorus-Sphinx-Moth Video(s)




A Pandorus Sphinx Moth caterpillar doing very little.
Relative Size Comparison
Typical Range Between 82mm and 115mm
Lo: 82mm
Md: 98.5mm
Hi: 115mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
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Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Pandorus 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 Pandorus Sphinx Moth. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

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