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Digital Guide to Moth Identification

2264257776Manduca quinquemaculatus – Five-spotted Hawk Moth – (Haworth, 1803)

© Pete Thompson
Distribution: Found occasionally in southern Canada from Nova Scotia to Ontario, and in Saskatchewan and British Columbia. Also throughout the United States, but uncommon in the Great Plains and the Southeast.
and Size:
One principal generation over most of the east, with mature caterpillars from July to November: Adults fly year-round in the Deep South, and from May to October to the northward. In Maryland, Glaser reports them from 30 May to 21 October. Wingspan 90 - 135 mm
Larva and
Host Plants:
The larvae, known as tomato hornworms, are green or brown with eight white chevrons on each side and a black "horn" at the end of the abdomen. The host plants are tomato, tobacco, potato and other members of the nightshade family.
Field Marks:
  • usually five pairs of abdominal spots.
  • lower half of subterminal line nearly straight.
  • forewing and hindwing fringes gray.
  • two sharp zigzag median lines on hindwing separated by white background.
  • Similar Species: The Carolina Sphinx Moth, M. sexta, is distinguished from M. quinquemaculata by the following characteristics:

  • usually six pairs of yellow spots on the abdomen
  • irregular wavy subterminal line on the forewing
  • narrow white marks on the forewing and hindwing fringes
  • hindwing zigzag black median lines fused together with very little white between them.

    Another similar species, Manduca occulta, is found in so. Arizona and rarely in So. Florida. In this moth, the light areas in the fringe of the forewing are grey rather than white and about as broad as the dark areas.
  • References
    Data compiled and contributed by Nolie Schneider from references cited.

    Manduca quinquemaculatus
    © Robert J. Nuell, Jr.
    Manduca quinquemaculatus
    © Arlene Ripley
    Manduca quinquemaculatus
    © Maury Heiman
    Manduca quinquemaculatus
    © Bob Patterson
    Manduca quinquemaculatus
    ©Ken Childs
    Manduca quinquemaculatus
    105mm – © Jim Vargo
    Manduca quinquemaculatus
    © Valerie G. Bugh

    Manduca quinquemaculatus
    © Bryan Reynolds

    Manduca quinquemaculatus
    © Janice Stiefel

    Manduca quinquemaculatus
    © Canadian National Collection LG

    Manduca quinquemaculatus
    © Janice Stiefel

    Manduca quinquemaculatus
    © John G. Franclemont CUIC LG

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