Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Apatelodes torrefacta (J.E. Smith, 1797)
Phalaena torrefacta Smith, 1797
Adult: forewing gray with brown lines and shading; note dark patch near base of forewing, thin scalloped postmedial line, and small pale spot near apex; in some postures, holds wings and tail up in the manner of some sphinx moths; hindwing reddish-brown.
Larva: body clothed with long yellow, white, or gray hairs; long black, or orange and black, medial lashes on dorsum of second and third thoracic - and eighth abdominal - segments; black chevrons above spiracles; ends of prolegs red
[adapted from description by Wagner and Giles]
Young larvae are entirely white long-haired with white to pinkish legs to about 20 mm long.
Mature larvae to 45 mm. long
Maine and southern Ontario to Florida, west to Texas, north to Wisconsin. (1)
Deciduous forests and adjacent areas
Adults are most common from May to September. (5)
Heppner (2003) reported adults from March to August in Florida. (4)
Larvae from June-September
Larvae feed on ash (Fraxinus), cherry (Prunus), maple (Acer), oak (Quercus).
Heppner (2003) reported a long list of larval host plants. (4)
Tuliptree, Redbud and Spiraea.
Two generations per year in the south; one in the north.
Life Cycle images:
mated pair; larva; larva; larva detail; pupa; adult
An odd-looking species, easily mistaken for a sphinx moth.
Covell, p. 56, plate 8 #19 (6)
Franclemont, J.G., 1973. The Moths of America North of Mexico, Fascicle 20.1, p. 18; pl. 3.11-13. (7)
Smith, 1797. in Smith & Abbot Nat. Hist. Lepid. Ins. Georgia 2: 151.
Wagner, p. 24--caterpillar (8)
pinned adult image
plus food plants (Dale Clark, Moths of Dallas County, Texas)
live larva image
(Giff Beaton, Georgia)