14 July 2014

White-lined sphinx moth is Hyles lineata

Thanks to Focus on Nature, it was easy to confirm the identification of this beauty hanging out on the tool bin in the garden shed.

Sphinx moths and hawk moths are members of the Sphingidae family. They are strong flying insects with rapid wingbeats, making them difficult to photograph. The adults feed on flowers at dusk or at night.

Their larvae or caterpillars are the hornworms that live on the leaves of tomatoes and tobacco, making them unpopular with gardeners and farmers.

Bug Life Cycles website
We don't grow tomatoes but have ornamental tobacco that we grow just for moths - it has white flowers that open at night and bring them in.

The caterpillars will also eat the leaves of Four O'Clock, Apple, Evening Primrose, Elm, Grapes, Purslane and a few other plants.


Uniquely, they pupate in the ground and if  you garden a lot like we do, you've seen them. I usually toss them out to the birds for them to feed their babies.

The native range of this beautiful moth is from South America to Canada. It is not endangered.


No comments: