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Vine Sphinx Moth (Eumorpha vitis)

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

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Image Credit: Mark S. from Austin, TX
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Image Credit: Bonnie S.
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The Vine Sphinx Moth is a large, streamlined flier and its caterpillar has a fondness for grape leaves.

Updated: 07/15/2021; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
The Vine Sphinx Moth has a sleek, striking pattern of lines and stripes on its forewings that is best observed when they are open flat. Its hindwings hide bright pink patches that are visible only when the forewings are stretched out. It is a stark contrast from the neutral coloring found on the rest of its wings. The tan body has two black lines on both sides of center. This member of the Sphinx Moth family is large, like its relatives, making it easy to spot. They are very common in the Southeastern U.S. as well as the mountainous Southwest. Like most moths, they are attracted to lights at night and are most active in late summer as well as early spring.

The caterpillar for the Vine Sphinx Moth can be any of three main colors: pink, pale green, or lemony-green. Five pair of diagonal lines run along the sides of the body. It may or may not have black dots as well. The preferred food for this caterpillar is a grape leaf, so vineyards are likely to consider this insect a pest.

General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Flying 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: Eumorpha
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            Species: vitis
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Eumorpha vitis
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 85mm to 105mm (3.34" to 4.13")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown; tan; white; pink; yellow
Descriptors: lined, flying, stripes

Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 85mm (3.3in) and 105mm (4.1in)
Lo: 85mm
Md: 95mm
Hi: 105mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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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 Vine 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 Vine Sphinx Moth. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.


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