Home / Hawk Moths (Sphingidae) / Mournful Sphinx Moth (Enyo lugubris)

Mournful Sphinx Moth (Enyo lugubris)

The mournful sphinx moth is a hawk moth found in the Americas. Swedish zoologist Carl Linnaeus first described this species in 1771.

Mournful Sphinx Moth


Scientific Classification

  • Family: Sphingidae
  • Genus: Enyo
  • Scientific Name: Enyo lugubris

Description and Identification


The larvae are green and stout.

Mournful Sphinx Moth Caterpillar



Once mature, the larvae pupate in a shallow burrow underneath the soil.

Adult Moth

Sexual Dimorphism: Present but not prominent.

Color and Appearance

When the wings are opened, they appear dark brown, with a big black patch, occupying a major part of the forewing’s outer edge. The area around the forewing even has a pale tan-colored cell spot and a median line running inside it. When the wings are closed, the color remains unchanged, while the patch also remain visible.

Average wingspan: 5 – 6 cm

Flight pattern: Erratic

Season: Year-round in tropical regions; August-November in northern areas.


Eggs are laid close to the host plant.

Quick Facts

DistributionThe southern part of North America, including Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, and in Arizona, east to Florida and north to South Carolina in the United States into parts of the neotropics, which include Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Surinam, Uruguay, Venezuela, and the West Indies
Lifespan of AdultsNot recorded
Host PlantsDifferent species of grapes
Adult DietDoes not feed

Did You Know

  • There are two sub-species – Enyo lugubris lugubris and Enyo lugubris delanoi.
  • Their name mournful is perhaps a derivation of their Latin name  lugubris translating to gloomy or sad. They could perhaps be named the same because of their somber colors or drooping posture. However, the exact reason remains unknown.
Mournful Sphinx Moth Image


Mournful Sphinx Moth Picture


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