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Abbott's Sphinx Moth Caterpillar

Green dots on a black body make the Abbott's Sphinx larva hard to miss.


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Image Credit: Ginette M. from Winnipeg, Manitoba
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Image Credit: Ginette M. from Winnipeg, Manitoba
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Image Credit: Ginette M. from Winnipeg, Manitoba
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Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Sphingidae
Genus: Sphecodina
Species: abbottii

Caterpillar Details

The Abbott's Sphinx Moth Caterpillar becomes the Abbott's Sphinx Moth.

0.0 " to 2.3 " (1mm to 60mm)

big green dots on top, black, dark bump, eyespot, plump, hairless, tail, horn, brown, button, knob
Named after a prominent naturalist from the late 18th century, Abbott's Sphinx Moth is a striking adult with ripples of dark, earthy colors on its wings and body. When spread wide open, hindwings reveal bright, almost neon yellow. The tip of the abdomen may also have pale yellow or white hairs on it that can sometimes resemble the tail feathers on a bird.

The caterpillar for this moth is also visually intriguing. Its instars produce different looking patterns and colors. Young caterpillars are pale green with a horn at the rear end. As it matures, the body gets a white cast over blue-green color. The horn is supplanted by an orange circular 'knob'. An older caterpillar may be brown-black with wood-grain markings, or it could have ten large, lime-green 'saddles' on its 'back'. The orange knob becomes black and is more raised, like a cyclops' eye. It feeds on vines like grapevine, peppervine, and Virginia Creeper. In the daytime, look for this caterpillar hiding on the trees or fences these vines are growing on. It tends to feed on the leaves at night. When ready, it pupates in the ground where it spends winter, and emerges in late spring in most of its range.©CaterpillarIdentification.org

Abbott's Sphinx Moth Caterpillar Diet

grapevine; peppervine

Territorial Areas

Alabama; Arkansas; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Nebraska; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Vermont; Virginia; West Virginia; Wisconsin; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec
Prince Edward Is.  
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The map above showcases (in blue) the states and territories of North America where the Abbott's Sphinx Moth Caterpillar may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data can be useful in seeing concentrations of a particular species over the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some species 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.*NOTE: States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Abbott's Sphinx Moth Caterpillar. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

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