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Species Paratrea plebeja - Plebeian Sphinx - Hodges#7793

Plebeian Sphinx - Paratrea plebeja Plebeian Sphinx - Hodges#7793 - Paratrea plebeja Plebeian sphinx caterpillar - Paratrea plebeja Plebeian Sphinx, #7793 - Paratrea plebeja Plebeian Sphinx Moth - Paratrea plebeja Plebeian Sphinx - Paratrea plebeja Plebeian Sphinx? - Paratrea plebeja Paratrea plebeja
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
No Taxon (Moths)
Superfamily Bombycoidea
Family Sphingidae (Sphinx Moths)
Subfamily Sphinginae
Tribe Sphingini
Genus Paratrea
Species plebeja (Plebeian Sphinx - Hodges#7793)
Hodges Number
7793
Other Common Names
Trumpet Vine Sphinx
Numbers
the only species in this genus in North America (and the world) listed at All-Leps
uncommon
Size
Wingspan 60-75 mm
Identification
Adult: forewing pale gray to grayish-brown with distinct white reniform spot; black basal dash projects like a thorn from inner margin (an important feature); 3 or 4 black longitudinal dashes near middle of wing intersect 2 dark lines, often diffuse or indistinct, completely crossing wing in postmedial area; hindwing mostly dark gray with white and dark checkered fringe
Range
Eastern United States plus southern Ontario; also occurs in Mexico.
Habitat
Fields, edges, with hostplants, and nearby areas; adults are nocturnal and come to light.
Season
Adults fly from April to October in the south [Charles Covell]. Bill Oehlke reports flight seasons of May-July in the north, and March-November (2 broods) in the south. In Durham, North Carolina, Patrick Coin recorded this species at the same lighted wall on these dates: 5/28, 6/9, 6/22, 7/12, 8/13, 8/22.
Food
Larvae feed on Trumpet Creeper (Campsis radicans), Yellow Trumpetbush (Tecoma stans), passionflower (Passiflora spp.), and lilac (Syringa spp.)
Adults take nectar from deep-throated flowers.
Life Cycle
Caterpillars hide on underside of foliage during day, and emerge to feed at night. First brood pupates in soil, emerges later that year (if two broods). Overwinters as a pupa in chamber in soil.
See Also
easily distinguished from Waved Sphinx (Ceratomia undulosa) by black basal dash on forewing - lacking in undulosa (Waved Sphinx also has several wavy lines completely crossing forewing, whereas Plebeian Sphinx has only two lines - compare images of both species at CBIF)
distinguished from Northern Apple Sphinx (Sphinx poecila) and Apple Sphinx (Sphinx gordius) by lack of subterminal line projecting from inner margin of forewing (compare images of all 3 species at CBIF)
Print References
Covell, p. 34, plate 5 #5 (1)
Internet References
live and pinned adults, and live larva images by various photographers, plus common name reference [Plebeian Sphinx], distribution, description, flight season, biology, foodplants (Bill Oehlke, silkmoths.bizland.com)
pinned adult image (Moths of Canada, CBIF)
pinned adult image by John Glaser, plus dates and foodplants (Larry Line, Maryland)
pinned adult image plus collection site map (All-Leps)
pinned adult images (Robert Nuelle, Texas)
North Carolina State University Entomology Collection has 67 pinned, including specimens from that state.
common name reference [Trumpet Vine Sphinx] (Tom Howard, North Carolina State Parks)
foodplants plus distribution, synonyms, references (Markku Savela, FUNET)
pinned adult image by Paul Opler, plus US distribution map, description, flight season, biology, foodplants (butterfliesandmoths.org)
distribution in Canada Ontario only (CBIF)
Works Cited
1.Peterson Field Guides: Eastern Moths
Charles V. Covell. 1984. Houghton Mifflin Company.