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Pink-spotted Hawkmoth (Agrius cingulata)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Pink-spotted Hawkmoth

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Image Credit: Brandon G. in HI
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Image Credit: Gordon C. taken in Raleigh, NC
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Image Credit: Gordon C. taken in Raleigh, NC
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The flashes of fuchsia on the abdomen and hindwings of the gigantic and gentle Pink-spotted Hawkmoth garner this moth special attention.

Updated: 02/02/2022; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
A type of Sphinx moth, the Pink-spotted Hawk Moth is a large and impressive. Overall, the moth is brown, but in most individuals, a series of short, bright pink bands line the sides of the abdomen with black bands between them. A brown line along the 'spine' separates both sides. Two blue eyespots sit atop the abdomen. Forewings have wavy dark lines crossing them as well as a row of round spots near the bottom edge. The smaller hindwings hide similar fuchsia pink coloring, which is revealed only when all the wings are opened wide and flat or in flight.

Pink-spotted Hawk Moths are typically found in the warmer states of the southern U.S. and all of Mexico. Up to three generations a year can be produced in these areas. Some migrate as far north as Ontario and eastward. Larvae feed on paw paws, a fruit grown almost exclusively in the South. Sweet potatoes, morning glory, and jimsonweed are also popular food sources. Late season juveniles pupate underground in the winter and emerge as adults in the spring. Look these handsome adults near lights at night from spring to late autumn in the warmer parts of their range.©InsectIdentification.org

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General Characteristics

Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Flying insect icon
Patterned insect icon
Striped or banded insect icon

Taxonomic Hierarchy

Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Lepidoptera
        Family: Sphingidae
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          Genus: Agrius
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            Species: cingulata

Identifying Information

Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Agrius cingulata
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 95mm to 120mm (3.74" to 4.72")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown; black; gray; pink; white
Descriptors: bands; spots; fuchsia; large; flying

Relative Size Comparison

Typical Size Between 95mm (3.7in) and 120mm (4.7in)
Lo: 95mm
Md: 107.5mm
Hi: 120mm

Territorial Map*

U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Pink-spotted Hawkmoth 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 Pink-spotted Hawkmoth. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

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