Sphinx Moth

My Home: I am found worldwide. I primarily hide during the day and emerge at dusk or during the early morning hours.

What I eat: As a caterpillar, I eat the leaves and stems of plants. As an adult moth, I drink nectar from flowers. I will go from flower to flower hovering over them and I am often confused with the hummingbird.

What I look like: As a caterpillar, I am green and have a pointed ‘horn’ on my rear end. As an adult moth, I have a long narrow set of front wings and shorter set of back wings. My wingspan can be 2 to 8 inches from tip to tip.

How I am born: I will go through four stages of development: egg, caterpillar, pupa (cocoon), and adult. Females lay as many as 1,000 eggs on leaves. My egg will hatch in 2 to 3 days into a caterpillar and it takes me about 8 weeks to go from egg to full grown caterpillar. Then I will go down into the ground to pupate. If I am a common sphinx moth, I will over winter underground as a pupa and hatch out in the early summer. In warmer or tropical regions, it takes only two to three weeks to hatch out of the ground and there are many generations produced in a year.

Fun Facts Their size and rapid wing beats allow them to hover and feed like hummingbirds, which is why they were nicknamed ‘hummingbird moths’. People often mistake the protrusion on the back of the sphinx caterpillar for a stinger.