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Gaudy Sphinx Moth (Eumorpha labruscae)

The gaudy sphinx moth is a member of the family of sphinx moths found in the Americas. Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus first described this species in the 10th edition of his book Systema Naturae in 1758.

Gaudy Sphinx Moth

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Scientific Classification


  • Family: Sphingidae
  • Genus: Eumorpha
  • Scientific Name: Eumorpha labruscae

Description and Identification

Caterpillar

The larvae of these moths have a very unique set of patterns involving two large eyespots on both sides of their head. Their head bulges in size as they mature, making them look like a snake.

Besides this, there is a large eyespot on their rear end, and their bodies are covered with yellow bands and diagonal patterning. A black spine grows out of their rear eyespot.

Gaudy Sphinx Moth Caterpillar

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Pupa

Like most sphinx moths, when the larvae are ready to pupate, they travel down their host plant and burrow underground.

Gaudy Sphinx Moth Pupa

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Adult Moth

Sexual Dimorphism: Present but not prominent.

Color and Appearance

Forewing: When the wings are opened, they are completely green. When the wings are closed, the green color is still observable.

Hindwing: When the wings are opened, a series of multicolored eyespots are observed. This includes patches of purple-blue surrounded by yellow borders, with a red spot close to the inner margin of the wing. When the wings are closed, these eyespots are completely hidden.

Average wingspan: 11–12 cm

Flight pattern: Erratic

Season: September-November

Eumorpha labruscae

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Egg

Eggs are laid on the host plant.

Quick Facts

DistributionArgentina, Central America, Mexico, the West Indies, and parts of the United States, including Arizona, Florida, Mississippi, and South Texas. Sometimes seen in Missouri, southern Michigan, Maine, Pennsylvania, and southern Saskatchewan in Canada
HabitatTropics and subtropics
Lifespan of Adults10-30 days
Host PlantsGrapes and vine
Adult DietNectar from flowering plants

Did You Know

  • It has two sub species – Eumorpha labruscae labruscae and Eumorpha labruscae yupanquii.
Gaudy Sphinx Moth Image

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Gaudy Sphinx Moth Picture

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