Vine Sphinx Moth in SE Texas?
Location: Liberty County, Texas
June 11, 2011 6:49 pm
Found this beauty on the passenger front tire of my ’72 Imperial. Spent some time looking on the site, and found a pic of a Vine Sphinx another contributor had sent in, and it was the closest match. Many thanks for the great site
Signature: Johnny in Texas
We ourselves often have a very difficult time distinguishing between two species, the Vine Sphinx, Eumorpha vitis, and the Banded Sphinx, Eumorpha fasciatus, and we believe this moth is the Banded Sphinx. According to the Sphingidae of the Americas website, the two species are both found in Texas, and you may compare your moth to the images posted there. The Sphingidae of the Americas page on the Vine Sphinx offers this means to distinguish between the species: “The upperside of the moth is dark pinkish brown. Each forewing has a lighter brown band along the costa, and sharp pinkish white bands and streaks. The hindwing has a pink patch on the inner margin, but lacks the pink along the outer margin, distinguishing it from fasciata.
Note the large brown “parallelogram” between lowest of three striga upwards toward the transverse lines. In E. fasciatus this same area is very small, almost non-existent.” On BugGuide, the Banded Sphinx is described as having: “Strong white bands on wings. Brown band on costa (leading edge of forewing) distinguishes from the similar, less widespread, Vine Sphinx, E. vitis.” Your moth appears to have that brown band on the leading edge of the forewing, hence our opinion that this is a Banded Sphinx.