Species Agrius cingulata - Pink-spotted Hawkmoth - Hodges#7771
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)
Species cingulata (Pink-spotted Hawkmoth - Hodges#7771)
Other Common Names
Sweetpotato Hornworm (larva)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Agrius cingulata – (Fabricius, 1775)
Agrius cingulatus (alternate spelling of specific epithet)
* phylogenetic sequence #410450
the only species in this genus in North America
Adult: forewing brownish-gray with black wavy lines; upper median area usually darker than remainder of wing; brown and/or white shading and markings beyond PM line; abdomen of typical form has broken pink crossbars (a diagnostic feature) and pink at base of hindwing; form "decolora" has no pink on abdomen or hindwing
Larva: body of final instar may be green, yellow, brown, or gray; dorsolateral black diagonal stripes usually connect to lateral line of black oval spots
resident from southern United States to northern South America; migrates in late summer occasionally to northern states, rarely to British Columbia and southeastern Canada, and very rarely to west coast of Europe
also resident in Galapagos Islands and Hawaii, and migrates in southern summer from northern South America to Argentina and Falkland Islands
lowlands, open areas; adults are nocturnal and come to light
adults fly June-October (temperate North America); June-November (eastern North Carolina)
larvae in late summer and fall
Larvae feed on Sweetpotato
spp.), and other plants in the Potato (Solanaceae) and Morning-glory (Convolvulaceae) families.
Adults take nectar from deep-throated flowers such as morning-glory (Convolvulus spp).
Larvae feed both day and night, and pupate in a chamber in the soil. One to three generations per year; overwinters in the pupa stage.
If the diagnostic pink abdominal crossbands are hidden by the forewings (or absent, as in the non-pink form "decolora"), the following characteristics may be useful...
) forewing has more white in AM and subterminal areas
) is only half as large and has more white in AM and subterminal areas
Five-spotted Hawk Moth
) and Carolina Sphinx
) forewings are more uniformly colored and have less prominent black lines
of all 5 species at CBIF)
Hodges, R. W., 1971. Moths of America North of Mexico, Fascicle 21; p. 22; pl. 1.1(2)
Covell, p. 31, plate 3 #1 (1)
Brimley, p. 263--Herse cingulata (3)
Holland, p. 43, plate VI--Herse cingulata (4)
Moth Photographers Group
- range map, photos of living and pinned adults.
Pink Spotted Hawkmoth
excellent account and images of larvae and adults, including non-pink form "decolora" (Bill Oehlke, silkmoths.bizland.com)
- photo of one of the varible larval forms
common name reference
[Sweetpotato Hornworm; larva], plus foodplant, links to images, distribution map (Markku Savela, Finland)
Moths of Southeastern Arizona
links to pinned adult and live larva images (Bruce Walsh, Arizona)
pinned adult image
plus date and foodplants (Dale Clark, Texas)
live adult images
and date (Larry Line, Maryland)
|2.||The Moths of America North of Mexico Fascicle 21 Sphingidae|
Ronald W. Hodges. 1971. The Wedge Entomological Research Foundation.
|3.||Insects of North Carolina|
C.S. Brimley. 1938. North Carolina Department of Agriculture.
|4.||The Moth Book|
W.J. Holland. 1968. Dover.