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Walnut Sphinx Moth (Amorpha juglandis)

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

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The Walnut Sphinx Moth is frequently seen east of the Rocky Mountains where nut trees grow in abundance.

Updated: 05/23/2023; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Native to deciduous woodlands, Walnut Sphinx Moths are highly common throughout Missouri with limited appearances in certain portions of other states east of the Rocky Mountains. As a member of the Sphinx Moth family, a robust size is typical for this moth.

Colors of the Walnut Sphinx Moth differ between individuals so it makes identification of this species a bit more challenging than usual. Overall, they maintain a light or dark brown coloring with bands of white or even pink. The patterns along the wings may or may not appear highly visible at first. With wings extended, these insects tend to take on a more rectangular shape when viewed from above. Their antennae are comb-like and their bodies appear to be covered in thick hair with the exception of their feet.

Adult Walnut Sphinx Moths do not eat. They can produce a single brood in the northern states, between May and August, but two broods in the warmer south. Walnut Sphinx caterpillars eat the leaves of walnut, butternut, hickory, alder, beech, hazelnut, and hophornbeam trees. They are capable of making a "squeaking" sound when threatened. It is likely a defensive move that startles a potential predator enough to leave them alone.©InsectIdentification.org

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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: Amorpha
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            Species: juglandis

Identifying Information

Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Amorpha juglandis
Other Name(s): Sphinx Moth; Hawkmoth
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 45mm to 75mm (1.77" to 2.95")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown; white; pink
Descriptors: flying

Relative Size Comparison

Typical Size Between 45mm (1.8in) and 75mm (3.0in)
Lo: 45mm
Md: 60mm
Hi: 75mm

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 Walnut 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 Walnut Sphinx Moth. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.
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