Giant Gray Sphinx Moth

(Pseudosphinx tetrio)


Giant Sphinx specimens in the Bermuda Natural History Museum collection 


The Giant Gray Sphinx is a large drab moth with a very dramatic caterpillar. Its upperwing is dark brown with a dark spot at the base of the costa and blurry gray and white markings. The hindwing upperside is dark brown with white along the inner margin and the lower half of the outer margin. The typical wing span is 5 to 5 1/2 inches (12.7 - 14 cm).

The caterpillar is the largest to be found in Bermuda. In addition to its size it has a distinctive yellow and black stripped body with orange head and rear.


Pupa of the Giant Sphinx moth


The Giant Gray Sphinx prefers open habitats including fields, meadows, weedy areas, marshes, and and roadsides.



The caterpillar feeds on Frangipani (Plumeria rubra) and other Plumeria species, and Allamanda species; all in the dogbane family (Apocynaceae). The Adult moth feeds on Nectar from flowers including Rosy Periwinkle (Vinca rosea).



Apparently established since the 1930s  the Tetrio Sphinx caterpillar can defoliate a Frangipani tree in just a few days. To attract the Giant Gray Sphinx plant Frangipani, Allamanda and Periwinkle.