Pink Spotted Hawkmoth

(Agrius cingulatus)

Identification

The Pink Spotted Hawkmoth has a robust body with a grayish brown abdomen with pink bands. Its forewing is mottled gray/brown and its hindwing is gray with black bands and pink at the base. It has a typical wing span of 3 3/4 to 4 3/4 inches (9.5 - 12 cm).

The caterpillar is large, speckled pink and orange with a distinctive white and black stripped head.

Sweet Potato Hornworm from Conservation Services on Vimeo.

Habitat

The Pink Spotted Hawkmoth prefers many open habitats including fields, meadows, weedy areas, marshes, and roadsides.

Food

The caterpillar prefers Sweet Potato and Morning Glory leaves, while the adult moth prefers Morning Glory flowers (Convolvulus sp.), and Petunia (Petunia sp.).

pinkspothawkmoth.JPG

The moth from caterpillar aboveThe pupa of the caterpillar above. note the eye and proboscis

Remarks

The caterpillars can be pests on sweet potatoes. A strong flier that has been seen far out to sea. The larva is known as the “sweetpotato hornworm”.