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Giant Sphinx Moth (Cocytius antaeus)

The giant sphinx moth is a member of the family of hawk moths. British entomologist Dru Drury first described this species in 1773.

Giant Sphinx Moth

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Scientific Classification


  • Family: Sphingidae
  • Genus: Cocytius
  • Scientific Name: Cocytius antaeus

Description and Identification

Caterpillar

They are large, with a horn on their rear end.

Giant Sphinx Moth Caterpillar

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Pupa

After the larvae mature, they begin to pupate.

Giant 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 a blurry yellowish-gray. When the wings are closed, the colors are still observable.

Hindwing: When the wings are opened, they are dark gray with a yellow base. When the wings are closed, the patterns remain the same.

Average wingspan: 12.6-17.8 cm

Flight pattern: Erratic

Season: Not recorded

Cocytius antaeus

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Egg

Females lay their eggs on the custard apple plant.

Quick Facts

DistributionFlorida and the tropical part of America south to Brazil and Peru. Also, sometimes in South Texas.
HabitatTropical and subtropical lowlands
Lifespan of Adults10-30 days
Host PlantsCustard apple
Adult DietFlower nectar

Did You Know

  • This moth was once believed to be the only insect with a long enough proboscis capable of pollinating the rare ghost orchid.
Giant Sphinx Moth Image

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Giant Sphinx Moth Picture

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