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Digital Guide to Moth Identification

890103.007787Ceratomia undulosa (Walker, 1856) – Waved Sphinx

Mark Dreiling - DNA
Distribution: Caution: A single range map dot for a Canadian province may represent records without specific location data.
Prince Edward Island to Alberta, North Dakota and Colorado, southward to Florida and western Texas.
and Size:
Two broods in the south from March to October, one brood in the north from May to August. Glaser reports this moth as common throughout Maryland between 28 April and 8 September. Wingspan 78 - 110 mm.
Larva and
Host Plants:
Light green hornworm, red/brown forms may be encountered: the horn may be pink. Seven pairs of oblique lateral stripes, and a broad stripe on the head from eyes to crown. Convex anal plate and anal prolegs with raised black spots Spiracles have a white center, edged with orange. Ash is the preferred food plant, but lilac, privet and fringe-tree may also be eaten.
Field Marks:
  • forewing usually pale brownish gray. Some individuals, particularly from the northern Great Plains, may be very dark, and others may be pale yellowish brown.
  • jagged black lines and black dashes on forewings well defined.
  • reniform spot large, white with black outline.
  • hindwing gray with diffuse darker gray lines.
Similar Species:
  • See discussion under 7786 - Elm Sphinx, C. amyntor.
  • Pinned specimens of related species. (Hint: select View by Region on the related species page.)
Synonymy: Daremma undulosa Walker, 1856
Ceratomia borealis Clark, 1929
Ceratomia engeli Chermock & Chermock, 1940
Ceratomia polingi Clark, 1929
Ceratomia repentinus Clemens, 1859
  • Barcode of Life (BOLD) - Caution: Some specimens shown may not be sequenced. DNA barcode provides evidence of relatedness not proof of identification.
  • Covell Field Guide p.33; Pl. 4(10, male).
  • Hall et al., 2021. The Moths of North Carolina - website (identification, habitats and life history)
  • Hodges, R. W., 1971. Moths of America North of Mexico, Fascicle 21:p. 42; pl. 2.12. order or free PDF
  • Species Page at Bill Oehlke's moth website - Ceratomia undulosa
  • Species Page at BugGuide.Net
  • Species Page at E. H. Strickland Museum
  • Species Page at Pacific Northwest Moths
  • Tuttle, J. P., 2007. Hawk Moths of North America: p. 64; pl. 9.9-10, 13.
  • Wagner, D. L., (2005). Caterpillars of Eastern North America, p. 252.
Data compiled and contributed by Nolie Schneider from references cited.

Ceratomia undulosa
Machele White
Ceratomia undulosa
John Himmelman
Ceratomia undulosa
Nolie Schneider
Ceratomia undulosa
Ken Childs
Ceratomia undulosa
85mm – Jim Vargo
Ceratomia undulosa
George Smiley LG
on Forestiera acuminata
Ceratomia undulosa
George Smiley LG
on Forestiera acuminata
Ceratomia undulosa
George Smiley LG
on Forestiera acuminata
Ceratomia undulosa
George Smiley LG
on Forestiera acuminata
Ceratomia undulosa
Canadian National Collection LG

Ceratomia undulosa
Bev Wigney

Moth Photographers Group  at the  Mississippi Entomological Museum  at the  Mississippi State University

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