Sphinx or hawk moths, Family Sphingidae

This is taken primarily from an extension bulletin by D. G. Pfeiffer & P. B. Schultz, entitled "Major Insect and Mite Pests of Grape in Virginia" (Va. Coop. Ext. Serv. 444-567 (1986))
Several species of sphinx moths feed on grape. Three of the more common are the Virginiacreeper sphinx, Darapsa myron (Cramer), the achemon sphinx, Eumorpha achemon (Drury) and the whitelined sphinx, Hyles lineata (Fabricius). Achemon sphinx pupae overwinter in the soil and adults emerge in early May. Eggs are laid on foliage and hatch in six to nine days. Larvae are hornworms, and a horn-like "tail" protrudes upward from the end of the abdomen (this horn drops off older larvae). Larvae feed on leaves for about 25 days, then go to the soil to pupate.  The above image, a larva of the pandorus sphinx, Eumorpha pandorus (photo credit Anton Baudoin), was collected from grape foliage, and was found to be parasitized by a braconid wasp.

Second generation moths appear in early July. The second generation larvae are more numerous than in the first generation and do their greatest damage in August. The life cycle of the other species of sphinx moths is similar, although the number of generations may vary.

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