Hawk Moth (Sphingidae)

Hawk moths are a family of moths, including around 1450 species. They are known for their beating wings, making them appear similar to hummingbirds in appearance.

List of Moths in this Family

  • Hartert’s hawkmoth (Acosmerycoides harterti)
  • Dull forest hawkmoth (Acosmeryx shervillii)
  • Southern gliding hawkmoth (Acosmeryx sinjaevi)
  • Clavipes Sphinx Moth (Aellopos clavipes)
  • Fadus Sphinx Moth (Aellopos fadus)
  • Tantalus Sphinx Moth (Aellopos tantalus)
  • Titan Sphinx Moth (Aellopos titan)
  • Green banded hawkmoth (Ampelophaga dolichoides)
  • Scarce vine hawkmoth (Ampelophaga khasiana)
  • Nessus sphinx moth (Amphion floridensis)
  • Northern dark-green hawkmoth (Angonyx testacea)
  • Southern dark-green hawkmoth (Angonyx krishna)
  • Gold dotted temnora moth (Basiothia aureata)
  • Brown striped hawkmoth (Hyles livornica)
  • Blackburn’s Sphinx Moth (Manduca blackburni)
  • Small verdant hawkmoth (Basiothia medea)
  • Parce sphinx moth (Callionima parce)
  • Fan-tailed bark moth (Callionima nomius)
  • Grote’s sphinx moth (Cautethia grotei)
  • Spurious sphinx moth (Cautethia spuria)
  • Mottled green hawkmoth (Cechenena aegrota)
  • Lesser green hawkmoth (Cechetra minor)
  • Coffee bee hawkmoth (Cephonodes hylas)
  • Gardenia bee hawkmoth (Cephonodes kingii)
  • Coprosma hawkmoth (Hippotion scrofa)
  • Pellucid hawkmoth (Cephonodes hylas)
  • Black-striped dahira moth (Dahira obliquifascia)
  • Rosy dahira moth (Dahira rubiginosa)
  • Jade hawkmoth (Daphnis hypothous)
  • Oleander hawkmoth (Daphnis nerii)
  • Azalea sphinx moth (Darapsa choerilus)
  • Virginia creeper sphinx moth (Darapsa myron)
  • Hydrangea sphinx moth (Darapsa versicolor)
  • Lettered sphinx moth (Deidamia inscriptum)
  • Elephant hawkmoth (Deilephila elpenor)
  • Small elephant hawkmoth (Deilephila porcellus)
  • Chitral elephant hawkmoth (Deilephila rivularis)
  • Assam hawkmoth (Enpinanga assamensis)
  • Mournful sphinx moth (Enyo lugubris)
  • Alope sphinx moth (Erinnyis alope)
  • Obscure sphinx moth (Erinnyis obscura)
  • Oenotrus sphinx moth (Erinnyis oenotrus)
  • Cramer’s sphinx moth (Erinnyis crameri)
  • Ello sphinx moth (Erinnyis ello)
  • Lassaux’s sphinx moth (Erinnyis lassauxii)
  • Pallid sphinx moth (Erinnyis pallida)
  • Verdant hawkmoth (Basiothia medea)
  • Achemon sphinx moth (Eumorpha achemon)
  • Anchemola sphinx moth (Eumorpha anchemolus)
  • Banded sphinx moth (Eumorpha fasciatus)
  • Intermediate sphinx moth (Eumorpha intermedia)
  • Gaudy sphinx moth (Eumorpha labruscae)
  • Pandora sphinx moth (Eumorpha pandorus)
  • Satellite sphinx moth (Eumorpha satellitia)
  • Typhon sphinx moth (Eumorpha typhon)
  • Vine sphinx moth (Eumorpha vitis)
  • Green rippled hawkmoth (Eupanacra busiris)
  • Malayan rippled hawkmoth (Eupanacra malayana)
  • Common rippled hawkmoth (Eupanacra mydon)
  • Sinuous rippled hawkmoth (Eupanacra sinuata)
  • Grown rippled hawkmoth (Eupanacra variolosa)
  • Kern primrose sphinx moth (Euproserpinus euterpe)
  • Phaeton primrose sphinx moth (Euproserpinus phaeton)
  • Wiest’s primrose sphinx moth (Euproserpinus wiesti)
  • Cuban sphinx moth (Eupyrrhoglossum sagra)
  • Hook-winged hawkmoth (Eurypteryx bhaga)
  • White-browed hawkmoth (Gnathothlibus erotus)
  • Non such hawkmoth (Hayesiana triopus)
  • Honeysuckle bee hawkmoth (Hemaris affinis)
  • Atlas bee hawkmoth (Hemaris aksana)
  • Alai bee hawkmoth (Hemaris alaiana)
  • Anatolian bee hawkmoth (Hemaris dentata)
  • Snowberry clearwing hawkmoth (Hemaris diffinis)
  • Pamir bee hawkmoth (Hemaris ducalis)
  • Broad-bordered bee hawkmoth (Hemaris fuciformis)
  • Slender clearwing hawkmoth (Hemaris gracilis)
  • Kashmir bee hawkmoth (Hemaris rubra)
  • Saunders’ bee hawkmoth (Hemaris saundersii)
  • Rocky mountain clearwing moth (Hemaris thetis)
  • Hummingbird clearwing moth (Hemaris thysbe)
  • Narrow-bordered bee hawkmoth (Hemaris tityus)
  • Pale striated hawkmoth (Hippotion boerhaviae)
  • Silver-striped hawkmoth (Hippotion celerio)
  • Black-based striated hawkmoth (Hippotion echeclus)
  • Raffles’ striated hawkmoth (Hippotion rafflesii)
  • Swinhoe’s striated hawkmoth (Hippotion rosetta)
  • Dark striated hawkmoth (Hippotion velox)
  • Blackburn’s sphinx moth (Manduca blackburni)
  • Eastern foxtail-lily hawk moth (Hyles centralasiae)
  • Dogbane hawk moth (Hyles chamyla)
  • Spurge hawk moth (Hyles euphorbiae)
  • Bedstraw hawk moth (Hyles gallii)
  • Seathorn hawk moth (Hyles hippophaes)
  • White-lined sphinx moth (Hyles lineata)
  • Australian striped hawk moth (Hyles livornicoides)
  • Ladakh hawkmoth (Hyles nervosa)
  • Mediterranean hawkmoth (Hyles nicaea)
  • Perkin’s sphinx moth (Hyles perkinsi)
  • Salang hawkmoth (Hyles salangensis)
  • Hindu Kush hawkmoth (Hyles stroehlei)
  • Barbary spurge hawkmoth (Hyles tithymali)
  • Wilson’s hawkmoth (Manduca quinquemaculata)
  • Bean caper hawkmoth (Hyles zygophylli)
  • Rimosus sphinx hawkmoth (Isognathus rimosa)
  • Dark-bordered hummingbird hawkmoth (Macroglossum affictitia)
  • Common hummingbird hawkmoth (Macroglossum stellatarum)
  • Macroglossum bifasciata
  • Humble hummingbird hawkmoth (Macroglossum bombylans)
  • Hermit hummingbird hawkmoth (Macroglossum insipida)
  • Grey-striped hummingbird hawkmoth (Macroglossum mitchellii imperator)
  • Himalayan hummingbird hawkmoth (Macroglossum nycteris)
  • Burnt-spot hummingbird hawkmoth (Macroglossum pyrrhosticta)
  • Grey-tipped hummingbird hawkmoth (Macroglossum saga)
  • Crisp-banded hummingbird hawkmoth (Macroglossum sitiene)
  • Macroglossum stellatarum
  • African hummingbird hawkmoth (Macroglossum trochilus)
  • Jordan’s hummingbird hawkmoth (Macroglossum vicinum)
  • False-windowed sphinx moth (Madoryx pseudothyreus)
  • Even-banded hawkmoth (Neogurelca hyas)
  • Diffuse-banded hawkmoth (Neogurelca masuriensis)
  • Narrow-banded hawkmoth (Neogurelca montana)
  • Accented hawkmoth (Nephele accentifera)
  • Crepuscular hawkmoth (Nephele hespera)
  • Fig sphinx moth (Pachylia ficus)
  • Green pergesa hawkmoth (Pergesa acteus)
  • Half-blind sphinx moth (Perigonia lusca)
  • Clark’s sphinx moth (Proserpinus clarkiae)
  • Yellow-banded day sphinx moth (Proserpinus flavofasciata)
  • Proud sphinx moth (Proserpinus gaurae)
  • Juanita sphinx moth (Proserpinus juanita)
  • Pacific green sphinx moth (Proserpinus lucidus)
  • Willowherb hawkmoth (Proserpinus proserpina)
  • Terloo sphinx moth (Proserpinus terlooi)
  • Vega sphinx moth (Proserpinus vega)
  • Tetrio sphinx moth (Pseudosphinx tetrio)
  • Afghanistan madder hawkmoth (Rethera afghanistana)
  • Amsels’ hawkmoth (Rethera amseli)
  • Lesser madder hawkmoth (Rethera brandti)
  • Madder hawkmoth (Rethera komarovi)
  • Indistinct mottled hawkmoth (Rhagastis confusa)
  • Crimson mottled hawkmoth (Rhagastis gloriosa)
  • Lunulate mottled hawkmoth (Rhagastis lunata)
  • Olive mottled hawkmoth (Rhagastis olivacea)
  • Veiled mottled hawkmoth (Rhagastis velata)
  • Abbott’s sphinx moth (Sphecodina abbottii)
  • Kopet hawkmoth (Sphingonaepiopsis asiatica)
  • Gorgon hawkmoth (Sphingonaepiopsis gorgoniades)
  • Gurkoi hawkmoth (Sphingonaepiopsis gurkoi)
  • Kuldja hawkmoth (Sphingonaepiopsis kuldjaensis)
  • Savanna hawkmoth (Sphingonaepiopsis nana)
  • Levant hawkmoth (Theretra alecto)
  • Common hunter hawkmoth (Theretra clotho)
  • Pale brown hawkmoth (Theretra latreillii)
  • White-edged hunter hawkmoth (Theretra lycetus)
  • Yam hawkmoth (Theretra nessus)
  • Impatiens hawkmoth (Theretra oldenlandiae)
  • Brown-banded hunter hawkmoth (Theretra silhetensis)
  • Fabulous green sphinx moth (Tinostoma smaragditis)
  • Libya sphinx moth (Xylophanes libya)
  • Pluto sphinx moth (Xylophanes pluto)
  • Porcus sphinx moth (Xylophanes porcus)
  • Tersa sphinx moth (Xylophanes tersa)
  • Blanchard’s sphinx moth (Adhemarius blanchardorum)
  • Pistacia hawkmoth (Akbesia davidi)
  • Cinnamon gliding hawkmoth (Ambulyx moorei)
  • Ocherous gliding hawkmoth (Ambulyx ochracea)
  • Plain gliding hawkmoth (Ambulyx placida)
  • Common gliding hawkmoth (Ambulyx sericeipennis)
  • Dark-based gliding hawkmoth (Ambulyx substrigilis)
  • Walnut sphinx moth (Amorpha juglandis)
  • Mango hawkmoth (Amplypterus panopus)
  • Elwes’ pink-and-green hawkmoth (Anambulyx elwesi)
  • Eyed pink-and-green hawkmoth (Callambulyx junonia)
  • Two-lined velvet hawkmoth (Clanis bilineata)
  • Three-lined velvet hawkmoth (Clanis deucalion)
  • Scarce velvet hawkmoth (Clanis titan)
  • Wavy velvet hawkmoth (Clanis undulosa)
  • Double-headed hawkmoth (Coequosa triangularis)
  • Cinnamon cypa hawkmoth (Cypa enodis)
  • Durian hawkmoth (Daphnusa ocellaris)
  • Variegated hawkmoth (Degmaptera mirabilis)
  • Ash hawkmoth (Dolbina elegans)
  • Exact grizzled hawkmoth (Dolbina exacta)
  • Mountain hawkmoth (Dolbina grisea)
  • Common grizzled hawkmoth (Dolbina inexacta)
  • Apple hawkmoth (Langia zenzeroides)
  • Aspen hawkmoth (Laothoe amurensis)
  • Maghreb poplar hawkmoth (Laothoe austanti)
  • Pamir poplar hawkmoth (Laothoe philerema)
  • Poplar hawkmoth (Laothoe populi)
  • Large candy-striped hawkmoth (Leucophlebia lineata)
  • Common striped hawkmoth (Marumba cristata)
  • Dull swirled hawkmoth (Marumba dyras)
  • Manchurian hawkmoth (Marumba maackii)
  • Oak hawkmoth (Marumba quercus)
  • Alder hawkmoth (Mimas christophi)
  • Lime hawkmoth (Mimas tiliae)
  • Ornamented hawkmoth (Morwennius decoratus)
  • Modest sphinx moth (Pachysphinx modesta)
  • Big poplar sphinx moth (Pachysphinx occidentalis)
  • Huckleberry sphinx moth (Paonias astylus)
  • Blinded sphinx moth (Paonias excaecatus)
  • Small eyed sphinx moth (Paonias myops)
  • Hirsute hawkmoth (Pentateucha curiosa)
  • Coryndon’s polyptychus moth (Polyptychus coryndoni)
  • Common crenulate hawkmoth (Polyptychus trilineatus)
  • Carter’s sphinx hawkmoth (Protambulyx carteri)
  • Streaked sphinx moth (Protambulyx strigilis)
  • Wavy polyptychus moth (Rufoclanis numosae)
  • Brilliant carpenter-bee hawkmoth (Sataspes tagalica)
  • Eastern carpenter-bee hawkmoth (Sataspes xylocoparis)
  • Lichenous hawkmoth (Smerinthulus perversa)
  • Northern eyed hawkmoth (Smerinthus caecus)
  • One eyed hawkmoth (Smerinthus cerisyi)
  • Twin spotted sphinx moth (Smerinthus jamaicensis)
  • Southern eyed hawkmoth (Smerinthus kindermannii)
  • Lesser eyed hawkmoth (Smerinthus minor)
  • Eyed hawkmoth (Smerinthus ocellatus)
  • Oriental eyed hawkmoth (Smerinthus planus)
  • Salicet sphinx hawkmoth (Smerinthus saliceti)
  • Sichaun eyed hawkmoth (Smerinthus szechuanus)
  • Murine hawkmoth (Sphingulus mus)
  • African death’s head hawkmoth (Acherontia atropos)
  • Lesser death’s head hawkmoth (Acherontia styx)
  • Greater death’s head hawkmoth (Acherontia lachesis)
  • Blanchard’s sphinx moth (Adhemarius blanchardorum)
  • Pink spotted hawkmoth (Agrius cingulata)
  • Convolvus hawkmoth (Agrius convolvuli)
  • Duponchel’s hawkmoth (Amphonyx duponchel)
  • Elm sphinx moth (Ceratomia amyntor)
  • Catalpa sphinx moth (Ceratomia catalpae)
  • Osage orange sphinx moth (Ceratomia hageni)
  • Sonoran sphinx moth (Ceratomia sonorensis)
  • Waved sphinx moth (Ceratomia undulosa)
  • Giant sphinx moth (Cocytius antaeus)
  • Pawpaw sphinx moth (Dolba hyloeus)
  • Hartweg’s sphinx moth (Dolbogene hartwegii)
  • Bald cypress sphinx moth (Isoparce cupressi)
  • Northern pine sphinx moth (Lapara bombycoides)
  • Southern pine sphinx moth (Lapara coniferarum)
  • Gulf pine sphinx moth (Lapara phaeobrachycerous)
  • Sage sphinx moth (Lintneria ermitoides)
  • Hermit sphinx moth (Lintneria eremitus)
  • Gemmed sphinx moth (Sphinx geminus)
  • Istar sphinx moth (Lintneria istar)
  • Separated sphinx moth (Lintneria separatus)
  • Smith’s sphinx moth (Sphinx smithi)
  • White-plaqued sphinx moth (Manduca albiplaga)
  • Florestan sphinx moth (Manduca florestan)
  • Muscosa sphinx moth (Manduca muscosa)
  • Occult sphinx moth (Manduca occulta)
  • Five spotted hawkmoth (Manduca quinquemaculata)
  • Rustic sphinx moth (Manduca rustica)
  • Black-belted hawkmoth (Megacorma obliqua)
  • Grey double-bristled hawkmoth (Meganoton analis)
  • Dull double-bristled hawkmoth (Meganoton nyctiphanes)
  • Rosy double-bristled hawkmoth (Cerberonoton rubescens)
  • Cluentius sphinx moth (Neococytius cluentius)
  • Juniper hawk moth (Oligographa juniperi)
  • Plebeian sphinx moth (Paratrea plebeja)
  • Acanthus hawkmoth (Pseudodolbina fo)
  • Australian privet hawk moth (Psilogramma casuarinae)
  • Plain grey hawkmoth (Psilogramma increta)
  • Privet hawkmoth (Sphinx ligustri)
  • Elsa sphinx moth (Sagenosoma elsa)
  • Asellus sphinx moth (Sphinx asellus)
  • Chinese pine sphinx moth (Sphinx caligineus)
  • Canadian sphinx moth (Sphinx canadensis)
  • Northern ash sphinx moth (Sphinx chersis)
  • Chisoya sphinx moth (Sphinx chisoya)
  • Japanese sphinx moth (Smerinthus tokyonis)
  • Doll’s sphinx moth (Sphinx dollii)
  • Wild cherry sphinx moth (Sphinx drupiferarum)
  • Franck’s sphinx moth (Sphinx franckii)
  • Apple sphinx moth (Sphinx gordius)
  • Laurel sphinx moth (Sphinx kalmiae)
  • Incense cedar sphinx moth (Sphinx libocedrus)
  • Sphinx ligustri
  • Clemens’ hawkmoth (Sphinx luscitiosa)
  • Southern pine hawkmoth (Sphinx maurorum)
  • Asian pine hawkmoth (Sphinx morio)
  • Elegant sphinx moth (Sphinx perelegans)
  • Poecila hawkmoth (Sphinx poecila)
  • Sequoia sphinx moth (Sphinx sequoiae)
  • Morgan’s sphinx moth (Xanthopan morgani)

Description and Identification

Caterpillar

They are green to brown and medium to large in size. Most larvae lack setae in this stage but have a horn on the posterior end.

Pupa

Pupation occurs inside a cocoon or underneath rocks, or underground. Some pupa has a proboscis free from the rest of their body.

Adult Moth

Sexual Dimorphism: Present but not prominent in most species. For instance, in the convolvulus hawk moth, the male has more feathery antennae and mottled wing markings than the female.

Color and Appearance

When opened, they are covered in scales. These scales remain observable even when closed.

Average wingspan: 5 to 20 cm

Flight pattern: Erratic

Season: May-July

Egg

The eggs are generally green and are flat and smooth. They are usually singly attached to the host plant.

Quick Facts

Other names Sphinx moths
Distribution Tropics
Habitat Woodlands
Lifespan of Adults 10-30 days
Predators Birds and bats
Host Plants Brugmansia, butterfly bush, columbine, datura, evening primrose, flowering tobacco, four-o’clocks, and honeysuckle
Adult Diet Nectar

Did You Know

  • They are extremely fast, reaching speeds of 5.3 m/s, making them one of the fastest winged insects.
  • French zoologist Pierre André Latreille first described this family of moths in 1802.