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Species Pachylia ficus - Fig Sphinx - Hodges#7841

Fig Sphinx Moth - Pachylia ficus Massive hornworm, side close-up - Pachylia ficus Massive hornworm, returning to the wild - Pachylia ficus Pachylia ficus Pachylia ficus: Ficus Moth, Fig sphinx - Pachylia ficus Large moth - Pachylia ficus MothFigSphinxCaterpillar11152015_AR_ - Pachylia ficus Sphinx moth? - Pachylia ficus
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 Pachylia
Species ficus (Fig Sphinx - Hodges#7841)
Hodges Number
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Orig. Comb: Sphinx ficus Linnaeus 1758
Explanation of Names
ficus is Latin for "fig", the hostplant.
1 sp. n. of Mex. (1)
4 3/4 - 5 1/2 inches (12 - 14 cm) wingspan. (2)
"Forewing upperside is orangish brown with a paler patch along the costa at the tip. Hindwing upperside is orange to orangish brown with a black outer border, a black median band, and a white spot on the outer margin near the body." (2)
Caterpillars vary widely in coloration. If diagonal stripes are present they are unusual for sphinx moths in that they slope away from the tail end, not up towards it. Caterpillars may undergo a dramatic color change (green with orange back) prior to pupation.
AZ, TX, FL / Strays north to Indiana and Pennsylvania / Mexico south to Uruguay / West Indies (2)
"Several flights throughout the year in the tropics, peninsular Florida, and South Texas." (2)
Caterpillar hosts: Various species of fig (Ficus).
Adult food: Flower nectar. (2)
Caterpillar also reported on Mango.
Life Cycle
"Adults begin feeding before sunset. Caterpillars pupate in cocoons spun in litter on the ground." (2)
Type Locality: America
First reported specifically from the US by Morris (1862) from Captain John Pope's Texas-Mexico Boundary Survey in the early 1850's.
Print References
Holland (2)
Covell (3) p.39
Morris, J.G. 1862. Synopsis of the Described Lepidoptera of North America. Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. 358 pp. Full Text
Internet References
Silkmoths by Bill Oehlke - many color morphs of the caterpillar shown as well as adult images
Systema naturae, 10th ed., v.2, p.491    Linnaeus' original description of the species (in Latin).
Works Cited
1.Check list of the Lepidoptera of America north of Mexico.
Hodges, et al. (editors). 1983. E. W. Classey, London. 284 pp.
2.The Moth Book
W. J. Holland. 1922. Doubleday, Page & Company.
3.Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America
Charles V. Covell, Jr. 2005.