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Species Hyles lineata - White-lined Sphinx - Hodges#7894

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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 Macroglossini
Genus Hyles
Species lineata (White-lined Sphinx - Hodges#7894)
Hodges Number
Other Common Names
Purslane Caterpillar
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Hyles lineata (Fabricius,1775)
Sphinx lineata Fabricius, 1775
Deilephila lineata
Phylogenetic sequence # 229450
Explanation of Names
Specific epithet lineata is Latin for "line," referring to the distinct white lines on the wing veins. (1)
Wingspan 6-9 cm (2)
Adult: Distinctive forewing pattern. A narrow-winged heavy bodied moth with a striped forewing and pink hindwing. The forewing is dark black-brown with the costa a lighter olive brown, a blue-grey terminal band and a longitudinal pale yellow-brown stripe. The veins are outlined in white scales. The hindwing is bright pink, with a black basal area and a black terminal band. Both sexes are similar. The white veins of the forewing separate it from the other species of Hyles. (2)
Larva: highly variable but have a green or orange speckled head and anal plate, and yellow or orange horn (often black-tipped or largely blackened).
Widespread: most of North America, Central and South America, West Indies, also parts of Eurasia, Africa.
Various open habitats: deserts, meadows, gardens
February-November (two broods)
Adults take nectar, fly at dusk but also in day.
Larvae feed on a wide variety of plants, see Butterflies and Moths of North America, including, but not limited to, many plants in the Onagraceae (Evening Primrose Family) and Rosaceae (Rose family).
Life Cycle
Larvae burrow into soil to go into pupal stage, where they remain for 2–3 weeks before they emerge as adults. Or they overwinter in the soil.
See Also
Eumorpha fasciatus
- Range: e. US
. . . . . . . . . . . .
Hyles gallii has a broader and somewhat uneven stripe on the forewing, and lacks the white lines.
- Range: n. US / Canada
Larva of Galium Sphinx has a red or black horn and yellowish subdorsal spots.
Print References
Covell, Charles V. Jr. 1984. Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America.(3)
Powell, J.A. & P.A. Opler 2009. Moths of Western North America. University of California Press. pl.41.15m; p.246.(4)
Fenenga, G. L, & Fisher, E. M. (1978). The Cahuilla Use of Piyatem, Larvae of the White-Lined Sphinx Moth (Hyles lineata) as Food. The Journal of California Anthropology, 5(1):84-90. (Full Text)
Works Cited
1.An accentuated list of the British Lepidoptera, with hints on the derivation of the names.
Anonymous. 1858. The Entomological Societies of Oxford and Cambridge.
2.University of Alberta Entomology Collection
3.Peterson Field Guides: Eastern Moths
Charles V. Covell. 1984. Houghton Mifflin Company.
4.Moths of Western North America
Powell and Opler. 2009. UC Press.