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Digital Guide to Moth Identification

890110.007793Paratrea plebeja – Plebeian Sphinx Moth – (Fabricius, 1777)

Valerie G. Bugh
Distribution: From southern New England and New York westward through the Ohio Valley to Nebraska, and southward to eastern Texas and Florida.
Seasonality
and Size:
Wagner reports at least two generations in New Jersey with mature caterpillars from July to October, and that it is nearly year round in parts of the Deep South with many generations. In Maryland Glaser reports it to be common in the Coastal Plain but absent west of the Piedmont, with flight dates from 10 May - 10 September.. Wingspan 60 - 75 mm.
Larva and
Host Plants:
Food plants are trumpet vine, bignonia and Florida yellow-trumpet. It has also been found on passionflower and lilac. Larva is a hornworm, commonly yellow-green above and blue-green below. There is also a brown form. There are 7 pairs of oblique lateral lines, and the head and body are covered with white granules. The horn may be blue, green, or sometimes black.
Description/
Field Marks:
  • forewing gray, with a series of black dashes from base to apex.
  • conspicuous white reniform spot.
  • hindwing dark gray with obscure black median band.
Similar Species:
  • Hermit Sphinx, Sphinx eremitus has a white reniform spot which may be double.
  • hindwing black with two distinct broad white bands.
References
Data compiled and contributed by Nolie Schneider from references cited.

Paratrea plebeja
Randy Newman
Paratrea plebeja
Bob Patterson
Paratrea plebeja
Hannah Nendick-Mason
Paratrea plebeja
70mm – Jim Vargo

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