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Insects and other arthropods

Waved sphinx

Ceratomia undulosa

Tabs group


These large moths are recognizable by their hairy bodies and pale grey or light brown wings marked with wavy black and white lines. There is also a small roundish spot on each of the forewings. At rest, the triangular forewings completely cover the hindwings. These moths have a wingspan of up to 11 cm. They are among the most common sphinx moths.

The caterpillars are green, sometimes reddish-brown, with a pinkish spine at the tip of the abdomen. They have seven light slanted lines on each side of the body. In the final instar, the caterpillars may measure up to 7.5 cm.

Life cycle

These moths produce two generations a year in the southern part of their range, and only one farther north. They pupate and overwinter in underground burrows. In the spring, the adults mate and the females lay about 200 pale green eggs on a host plant. The caterpillars grow as they moult and then form pupae, where the metamorphosis into adult moths occurs.

Geographic distribution

They are found in the United States and southern Canada east of the Rockies.


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