Big Poplar Sphinx Moth(Pachysphinx occidentalis)
The big poplar sphinx moth is a member of the family of hawk moths. They are found throughout North America and can be found in two color morphs – a pale one and a dark one. These moths have two subspecies namely Pachysphinx occidentalis occidentalis and Pachysphinx occidentalis regalis.
- Family: Sphingidae
- Genus: Pachysphinx
- Scientific Name: Pachysphinx occidentalis
Description and Identification
The larvae are green with yellow stripes.
After the larva goes through all of its instars, they get ready to pupate underground in shallow burrows.
Sexual Dimorphism: Present but not prominent.
Color and Appearance
Forewing: When the wings are opened, they are yellow-brown when the moth is pale and dark gray when it is dark in color. When the wings are closed, the well-defined lines and bands remain observable.
Hindwing: When the wings are opened, a crimson patch covering a significant part of the upper side is visible. When the wings are closed, the pink patch is no more visible, yet the lined patterns can be seen.
Average wingspan: 13-15 cm
Flight pattern: Erratic
Season: May to September
The eggs are laid on the host plant’s leaves.
|Distribution||Canada and the US, including North Dakota west to eastern Washington; south to Texas, southern California, and Baja California Norte.|
|Habitat||Riparian areas and suburbs|
|Lifespan of Adults||Not recorded|
|Host Plants||Cottonwood, poplar, and Salix|
|Adult Diet||Flower nectar|
Did You Know
- English entomologist Henry Edwards first described this species in 1875.