Spurge Hawk Moth (Hyles euphorbiae)
The spurge hawk moth is a member of the family of hawk moths. It is used as a biological control agent to check the noxious weed leafy spurge population.
Description and Identification
The larvae are black, with countless white dots. Beneath these spots, there are another set of coral-red spots. The head and posterior end horn are the same color, with a bright coral-red line connecting them.
They pupate inside a pale-brown chrysalis and remain loosely buried on the sand near the sea coast.
Sexual Dimorphism: Present but not prominent.
Color and Appearance
Forewing: When open, the wings are gray with a square-shaped olive-brown blotch and an oblique band stretching from the apex to the margin of the wing. When closed, the patterns remain the same.
Hindwings: When open, the upperside is black with a green margin, and a pinkish-brown median band is present. When closed, the bands become hidden.
Average wingspan: 6.4 – 7.7 cm
Flight pattern: Erratic
Season: Late May – October
The eggs are covered in liquid gum.
|Distribution||Central and southern Europe, most notably Spain and France|
|Habitat||Coastal sand dunes|
|Lifespan of Adults||Not recorded|
|Host Plants||Noxious weed leafy spurge|
|Adult Diet||Does not feed|
Did You Know
- There are two sub-species – Hyles euphorbiae euphorbiae and Hyles euphorbiae conspicua.