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Digital Guide to Moth Identification

890092 – 7778   Manduca rustica (Fabricius, 1775)
             Rustic Sphinx

Ken Childs
Distribution: Manduca rustica is a southern species, resident from Virginia to south Florida, and west through Arkansas and Texas to New Mexico, southern Arizona and southern California. It strays northward to Maine, New York and Quebec.
and Size:
Adults fly from May-Nov. in Florida and South Carolina, June-Nov. in Mississippi and July-Oct. in Arkansas. Glaser records them as a southern migrant only from the Coastal Plain of Maryland between 26 June and 26 September. Wingspan 87 - 150 mm.
Larva and
Host Plants:
The larva is a green "hornworm". There are numerous white nodules on the dorsal surface and seven pairs of oblique blue-grey lateral stripes. The host plants are bignonia, jasmine, fringe-tree and members of the Verbenaceae and Boraginaceae families.
Field Marks:
  • three pairs of yellow spots on the abdomen.
  • forewing yellowish-brown to deep chocolate brown.
  • zigzag black and white lines at the base, in the am. and lower median areas, and after the pm. line.
  • Similar Species:
    • The Pawpaw Sphinx, Dolba hyloeus, is quite similar but much smaller, with a wingspan of 50 - 68 mm.
    • Pinned specimens of related species. (Hint: select View by Region on the related species page.)
    Synonymy: Sphinx rustica Fabricius, 1775
    Protoparce auriflua Gehlen, 1930
    Sphinx chionanthi Smith, 1797
    Protoparce galapagensis Holland, 1889
    Phlegethontius harterti Rothschild, 1894
    Protoparce nigrita Rothschild & Jordan, 1903
    Protoparce postscripta Clark, 1926
    • Barcode of Life (BOLD) - Caution: DNA barcode provides evidence of relatedness, not proof of identification, and some BOLD specimens shown may not be sequenced.
    • Covell Field Guide p.32; Pl. 3(8, 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. 33; pl. 1.5. order or free PDF
    • Powell, J. A. & P. A. Opler, 2009. Moths of Western North America, Pl. 40.9m; p. 244. Book Review and ordering
    • Species Page at Bill Oehlke's moth website - Manduca rustica
    • Species Page at BugGuide.Net
    • Species Page at Mass Moths
    • Species page at Moths of North Dakota.
    • Tuttle, J. P., 2007. Hawk Moths of North America: p. 51; pl. 8.7.
    • Wagner, D. L., (2005). Caterpillars of Eastern North America, p. 249.
    Manduca rustica
    Bob Patterson
    Manduca rustica
    Andy Wraithmell
    Manduca rustica
    Jason Roberts
    Manduca rustica
    Mark de Silva
    Manduca rustica
    120mm – Jim Vargo
    Manduca rustica
    LG – Maury Heiman
    Manduca rustica
    Ken Childs LG

    Manduca rustica
    Brody J. Thomassen LG
    on Callicarpa americana
    Manduca rustica
    Brody J. Thomassen LG
    on Callicarpa americana
    Manduca rustica
    Richard Crook LG

    Manduca rustica
    Randy Hardy LG
    on ash
    Manduca rustica
    Valerie G. Bugh

    Manduca rustica
    Ken Childs LG

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