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Bedstraw Hawk Moth (Hyles gallii)

The bedstraw hawk moth is a member of the family of hawk moths. It is also known as the gallium sphinx moth and was first described in 1775 by German entomologist S.A. von Rottemburg.

Bedstraw Hawk Moth


Scientific Classification

  • Family: Sphingidae
  • Genus: Hyles
  • Scientific Name: Hyles gallii

Description and Identification


The larvae of these moths are around 70-80 mm in length. They are found in different color morphs: olive green with yellow spots or black with yellow spots alongside a red head. The ten spots arranged on their body in a row look like eyes. Both the color variations also have a red horn towards the end of their tail.

Bedstraw Hawk Moth Caterpillar


Bedstraw Hawk Moth Larvae



Before pupation starts, the larva’s color starts darkening. The pupa mostly appears brown, dwelling in the sand.

Bedstraw Hawk Moth Pupa


Adult Moth

Sexual Dimorphism: Present but not prominent.

Color and Appearance

The thorax and the body of an adult are olive-brown. The white lines intersecting the thorax also run across each side of their head and body.

Forewing: When the wings are opened, they are olive-brown, with an irregular white stripe along the middle. When closed, the patterns remain similar.

Hindwing: When opened and closed, a mixture of colors is observed in the wings; black at the base, white near the body, and bright pink in the middle, followed by a prominent black band and a gray margin.

Average wingspan: 55-80 mm

Flight pattern: May to August

Season:  Not recorded


Female moths lay eggs on the leaves of the host plants.

Bedstraw Hawk Moth Eggs


Quick Facts

DistributionCentral Asia, Japan, North America, Europe, and the Arctic Circle
HabitatSandy or calcerous habitat, plantations, sunny heath, and warm forest edges
Lifespan of AdultsNot recorded
Host PlantsBedstraws, Rosebay Willowherb, fireweed, madders, and fuchsias. 
Adult DietNectar from flowers like lilacs, Monarda, and bouncing bets.

Did You Know

  • The bedstraw hawk moth is similar in appearance to the spurge hawk moth, with the highlighting difference being the red color present on the undersides of the latter, besides prominent markings on the upper sides of their wings. The larvae of both moths also have a similar appearance but for the spots, arranged in a single row for the bedstraw hawk moth and double rows for the spurge moth.
Bedstraw Hawk Moth Image


Hyles gallii


Bedstraw Hawk Moth Picture


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