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Species Ceratomia catalpae - Catalpa Sphinx - Hodges#7789

Catalpaworm -  sphinx moth caterpillar - Ceratomia catalpae Catalpa sphinx moth - Ceratomia catalpae Catalpa Sphinx - Ceratomia catalpae Ceratomia catalpae Ceratomia catalpae Catalpa Sphinx - Ceratomia catalpae Catalpa Sphinx - Hodges#7789 - Ceratomia catalpae Catalpa Sphinx Moth Caterpillar (?) - Ceratomia catalpae
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 Sphinginae
Tribe Sphingini
Genus Ceratomia
Species catalpae (Catalpa Sphinx - Hodges#7789)
Hodges Number
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
described in 1875 by Boisduval, who originally placed it in genus Sphinx
Wingspan 60-100 mm
Adult: forewing brown with black-rimmed gray discal spot and faint dark lines crossing wing; hindwing brown with 2 or 3 transverse lines; abdomen brown with no yellow spots

Larva: early instars mostly white with black polkadots; later instars mostly black with broad yellow lateral stripe (see photos at bottom of this page)
Eastern United States, west to Texas and Colorado, plus southern Ontario; more common in south.
Deciduous forests, woodlands, suburbs containing hostplants.
Adults fly from April to October (two or more broods in the south)
Larvae present from May to November
Larvae feed on leaves of Northern Catalpa (Catalpa speciosa) and Southern Catalpa (C. bignonioides). As the included range maps indicate, these tree species are native to eastern United States, but introduced to Ontario.
Adults probably do not feed.
Life Cycle
From one generation per year in the north, up to five generations in the south (Louisiana). Larvae pupate in soil at base of tree. Overwinters as a pupa.
Larvae are gregarious and often used as fish bait in the southeastern states.
Telemonus catalpae is a wasp in the Scelionidae family that parasitizes the eggs.(1)
See Also
Carolina Sphinx (Manduca sexta) is larger [wingspan 90-120 mm], forewing is grayer, and abdomen has prominent yellow spots (compare images of both species at CBIF)
Elm Sphinx (Ceratomia amyntor) forewing has prominent black streaks; Waved Sphinx (C. undulosa) forewing is grayer, with white discal spot and more numerous wavy lines (compare images of all 3 species at CBIF)
Hagen's Sphinx (C. hageni) forewing has pale patch at apex, lacking in Catalpa Sphinx
Print References
Covell p. 33 plate 5 #9 (2)
Wagner, p. 12 (3)
Internet References
pinned adult image (Dale Clark, Texas)
live images of all life stages plus description, flight season, foodplants, biology, and other information (Bill Oehlke,
presence in Florida; list (John Heppner, Florida State Collection of Arthropods)
Works Cited
1.Eastern Forest Insects
Whiteford L. Baker. 1972. U.S. Department of Agriculture · Forest Service.
2.Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America
Charles V. Covell, Jr. 2005.
3.Caterpillars of Eastern Forests
David L. Wagner, Valerie Giles, Richard C. Reardon, Michael L. McManus. 1998. U.S. Dept of Agriculture, Forest Health Technology Enterprise Team.