Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes



Species Aellopos tantalus - Tantalus Sphinx - Hodges#7847

Tantalus Sphinx - Aellopos tantalus Hummingbird Moth - Aellopos tantalus Tantalus Sphinx Moth - Aellopos tantalus Snowberry darkwing - Aellopos tantalus Macroglossinae sp. I think? - Aellopos tantalus Tantalus Sphinx - Aellopos tantalus - Aellopos tantalus Tantalus Sphinx - Aellopos tantalus Aellopos tantalus
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Bombycoidea (Silkworm, Sphinx, and Royal Moths)
Family Sphingidae (Sphinx Moths)
Subfamily Macroglossinae
Tribe Dilophonotini
Genus Aellopos
Species tantalus (Tantalus Sphinx - Hodges#7847)
Hodges Number
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
First described by Linnaeus in 1758 as Sphinx tantalus
Explanation of Names
Evidently from Greek Tantalos (Τανταλος), a figure in Greek mythology- but the connection isn't obvious.
Wingspan: 45 - 57 mm
Recorded from New York, and Michigan, but in our area probably established only in southern Florida. Mostly tropical.
Year-round in the tropics
Larvae feed on plants in the family Rubiaceae, with the best-documented species being Casasia clusiifolia, the Seven-Year Apple.
Adults feed on nectar
Life Cycle
The female lays eggs on tender new growth of the hostplant, where the larvae feed until ready to pupate. At that time, they change color from green or brown to dark red and crawl down to the ground, where they build a pupation chamber, made with leaves held together by silk, under a few inches of leaf litter. In the Florida Keys there's no evidence of diapause, though their development slows in cooler weather.
The larval stages aren't well documented, with the first detailed information published in 1980 (see Internet references)