White-lined sphinx Moths are one of the most abundant hawk moths in North America, having a wide geographic range (from southern Canada into Central America). They occupy a wide variety of open habitats including deserts, suburbs, and gardens. As adults, these large moths are often mistaken for hummingbirds since their rapid wing movements resemble a hummer in flight (hovering over flowers while feeding). They usually fly at dusk, during the night, and at dawn, but can also be seen flying during the day.
The caterpillars are large and beautiful, with a reddish-orange horn at the rear. Here in MT, the caterpillars will overwinter with adult moths starting to appear in May. After mating and laying eggs, we typically see the next generation of adults in late summer. In warmer climates there are even more generations each year.
Size: Caterpillars can grow to 3 to 4 inches in length.
Photos by: Glenn Marangelo on 7/22/22 near Clinton, MT