Home / Hawk Moths (Sphingidae) / Laurel Sphinx Moth (Sphinx kalmiae)

Laurel Sphinx Moth (Sphinx kalmiae)

The laurel sphinx moth is a member of the family of hawk moths. They are found in North America, both in Canada and the United States.

Laurel Sphinx Moth


Scientific Classification

  • Family: Sphingidae
  • Genus: Sphinx
  • Scientific Name: Sphinx kalmiae

Description and Identification


The larvae are blue-green or yellow-green, with seven white-edged diagonal lines with black above and yellow below.

Laurel Sphinx Moth Caterpillar



Once fully grown, the caterpillar pupates in loose soil.

Laurel Sphinx Moth Pupa


Adult Moth

Sexual Dimorphism: Present but not prominent.

Color and Appearance

Forewing: When the wings are opened, they are yellowish-brown, with a black patch along the inner margin and a thin, whitish line along the outer margin.  When the wings are closed, the colors remain visible.

Hindwing: When the wings are opened, it is observed that they are tan with a black border, alongside a black median line, and a black patch at the base. When the wings are closed, the patterns are still observable.

Average Wingspan: 7.5 – 10.3 cm

Flight Pattern: Erratic

Season: March-October

Sphinx kalmiae



The eggs are white and translucent like a pearl.

Quick Facts

DistributionEastern North America
HabitatForests, nurseries, woodlands, and yards
Lifespan of Adults10-30 days
Host PlantsAsh, fringe tree, laurel, lilac, mountain holly, northern bush honeysuckle, poplar, and privet
Adult DietFlower nectar

Did You Know

  • English entomologist James Edward Smith described this species in 1797, naming it after Kalmia, the first plant it was seen on.
Laurel Sphinx Moth Picture


Laurel Sphinx Moth Image


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