white-lined sphinx

(Hyles lineata)

white-lined sphinx
Photo by Chad & Autumn Brekke
  Hodges #

7894

 
 
Conservation Status
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
           
 
Description
 
 

White-lined sphinx is a common, large to very large, sphinx moth. In poor light or at a distance it is easily mistaken for a hummingbird, due to similarities in both appearance and behavior. It has a wingspan of 27 16 to 39 16.

The forewing is long and narrow with a smooth, slightly convex outer margin. The upperside is dark olive brown. A narrow tan band extends diagonally from the inner margin near the base to the wing tip. There are creamy white streaks along the veins; a pale spot in the basal area; and a small, irregular, white patch in the median area. The trailing edge (terminal area) has a broad, pale, gray or grayish-brown band, a narrow, dark, marginal border, and a short white fringe. The leading (costal) margin has a broad, pale brown border.

The hindwing is black with a white fringe; a narrow, light brown, marginal border; and a central, broad, pink band extending diagonally from the inner margin near the body to the outer margin near the apex.

The appendage (tegula) covering the forewing base is dark olive brown with a prominent white fringe, a thin black, marginal border, and a white stripe in the middle.

The thorax is dark olive brown with three white stripes, one middorsal and two subdorsal, extending forward from the base of the tegula.

The abdomen is black-and-white banded on the upper (dorsal) surface. A thin, white, middorsal stripe is bordered by two narrow black stripes and two broad pale brown stripes.

The head is dark olive brown with two subdorsal stripes that extend over the eyes to the mouth.

The antenna is thickened and club-like. The proboscis is long and is coiled under the head when not in use.

The caterpillar is up to 2¾ long. It may be either bright green or yellow and black. The head, prothoracic shield and anal plate are always the same color, either orange or green, and are dotted with minute pale spots. The markings on the thorax and abdomen are extremely variable. Many forms have a subdorsal stripe extending from the first thoracic segment to the eighth abdominal segment. On some forms this stripe is replaced by a row of black-rimmed, creamy yellow spots. Some forms have small to extensive black areas speckled with tiny, yellow or white, vertically aligned dots. A stout yellow to orange, often partially or completely blackened, horn extends from the middorsal surface of the eighth abdominal segment. The legs on the thorax and leg-like structures (prolegs) on the abdomen are usually orange.

Mature caterpillars can be found from July onward.

 
     
 

Size

 
 

Wingspan: 27 16 to 39 16

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Meadows, gardens, woodland openings, and other open areas.

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Season

 
 

Two broods: May to October

 
     
 

Behavior

 
 

This moth is often spotted hovering with rapidly-beating wings near a flower. While they usually fly from dusk to dawn, they also sometimes fly during the day.

 
     
 

Life Cycle

 
 

Females attract males by releasing pheromones. Caterpillars moult five times before pupating. They pupate for 2 to 3 weeks in shallow burrows in the ground. The second brood overwinters as pupae.

 
     
 

Larva Hosts

 
 

Willow herb (Epilobium spp.), four o’clock (Mirabilis spp.), apple (Malus spp.), evening primrose (Oenothera spp.), elm (Ulmus spp.), grape (Vitis spp.), and common purslane (Portulaca oleracea).

 
     
 

Adult Food

 
 

Flower nectar of many species, especially those with tubular flowers, including ground ivy (Glechoma hederacea).

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

7, 21, 24, 29, 30, 75, 82.

 
  8/29/2021      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Common

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
 

Order

Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths)  
 

Suborder

Glossata  
 

Infraorder

Neolepidoptera  
  Parvorder Heteroneura  
  No Rank Ditrysia  
  No Rank Obtectomera  
 

Superfamily

Bombycoidea (hawk-moths)  
 

Family

Sphingidae (hawk moths, sphinx moths, and hornworms)  
 

Subfamily

Macroglossinae  
 

Tribe

Macroglossini  
 

Genus

Hyles  
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

 

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

white lined sphinx

white-lined sphinx

white-lined sphinx moth

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Anal plate

In snakes: the large scale in front of and covering the anus. In turtles: one of the posterior plates of the lower shell (plastron). In Lepidoptera: the often hardened shield on the dorsal surface of the last (10th) segment of the abdomen.

 

Costal margin

The leading edge of the forewing of insects.

 

Proleg

A fleshy structure on the abdomen of some insect larvae that functions as a leg, but lacks the five segments of a true insect leg.

 

Prothoracic shield

The hardened plate on the dorsal surface of the first segment of the thorax.

 

Tegula

A small, hardened plate or flap-like structure that overlaps the base of the forewing of insects in the orders Lepidoptera, Hymenoptera, Diptera, and Homoptera.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
Visitor Photos
 
           
 

Share your photo of this insect.

 
  This button not working for you?
Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Attach one or more photos and, if you like, a caption.
 
 

Chad & Autumn Brekke

 
 

We took this photo last night… He was in our garage.

What a beautiful guy he was!

  white-lined sphinx  
 

Valerie Salley

 
    white-lined sphinx   white-lined sphinx  
 

Plannine

 
    white-lined sphinx   white-lined sphinx  
 

Leigh49

 
 

On my truck, after a rain!

 
    white-lined sphinx      
 

Scott Cole

 
 

...a moth feeding on a Bee Balm in our yard

 
    white-lined sphinx   white-lined sphinx  
 

Angie F

 
    white-lined sphinx   white-lined sphinx  
 

LWel

 
 

Feasting between 9 & 10pm.

 
    white-lined sphinx   white-lined sphinx  
 

Ken Greshowak

 
    white-lined sphinx      
 

Nicole Vasquez

 
    white-lined sphinx      
 

Tom Baker

 
    white-lined sphinx      
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
 
 

Adult

 
    white-lined sphinx   white-lined sphinx  
           
 

Caterpillar

 
    white-lined sphinx   white-lined sphinx  
           
    white-lined sphinx      
           

 

Camera

     
 
Slideshows
 
Hyles lineata (White-lined Sphinx)
Allen Chartier
  Hyles lineata (White-lined Sphinx)  
Hyles lineata
Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren
  Hyles lineata  
     

 

slideshow

       
 
Visitor Videos
 
       
 

Share your video of this insect.

 
  This button not working for you?
Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Attach a video, a YouTube link, or a cloud storage link.
 
 

Scott Cole

 
  white-lined sphinx 02
Published 8/14/2018
 
   
 
About

white-lined sphinx (Hyles lineata)

Video by Scott Cole

Mankato, MN

This is the first year we have had these moths. They love the Bee Balm!

   
 

Todd

 
  white-lined sphinx 01
Published 8/13/2018
 
   
 
About

most of this video is in slow Mo mode.

   
       
       
 
Other Videos
 
  White-lined Sphinx Moth
monarchwatch
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Sep 20, 2011

A White-lined Sphinx Moth (Hyles lineata) nectaring on Star Flower (Pentas lanceolata) in Monarch Waystation #1 (Monarch Watch HQ in Lawrence, KS).

 
  White Lined Sphinx Moth - Hyles Lineata in Wisconsin
Onaspark
 
   
 
About

Published on Sep 14, 2012

I first thought this moth was a hummingbird when it was flying around me. It was very interested in my blooming hostas. It flew continuously and was silent.

Music:
http://BeatsRoyaltyFree.com
Artist: Al Sergio
Title: One Summer Day Before Fall

The following is from wikipedia:
The fore wing is dark brown with a tan stripe which extends from the base to the apex. There are also white lines that cover the veins. The black hind wing has a broad pink median band. It has a wingspan of 2 to 3 inches.
The moth's range is throughout the United States and extends north into southern Canada and south into Mexico. It can also be found occasionally in the West Indies.
The adult of this species is a key pollinator of the rare lemon lily (Lilium parryi) in California.

aka:
Sphinx lineata Fabricius, 1775
Celerio lineata
Deilephila lineata
Sphinx daucus Cramer, [1777]
Sphinx lineata americana Laporte, 1830
Celerio lineata florilega Kernbach, 1962
Celerio lineata lineatoides Gehlen, 1934

 
  White-lined Sphinx Moth (Sphingidae: Hyles lineata) Lateral Close-up
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Published on Jun 3, 2012

Photographed at Grand Forks, North Dakota (03 June 2012).

 
  Ep. 359 White- lined Sphinx Moth Hummingbird Loving My Super Petunia's
Diane Mumm Garden Videos
 
   
 
About

Published on Jan 8, 2014

White- lined Sphinx Moth Hummingbird-The White-lined sphinx (Hyles lineata) is a moth of the Sphingidae family.

The White-lined sphinx may be encountered from April to October. This moth's rapid wing movement resembles a hummingbird in flight when it hovers over flowers while it feeds.

The fore wing is dark brown with a tan stripe which extends from the base to the apex. There are also white lines that cover the veins. The black hind wing has a broad pink median band. It has a wingspan of 2 to 3 inches. The moth is sometimes referred to as a Hummingbird Moth because of its similarity to the Hummingbird in appearance and flight characteristics.

The moth's range is throughout the United States and extends north into southern and mid western Canada and south into Mexico. It can also be found occasionally in the West Indies

The larva is yellow and black or sometimes lime green and black. Many individuals have a subdorsal stripe. The head, prothoracic shield, and the anal plate are one color either green or orange with small black dots. The horn varies from either yellow or orange and sometimes has a black tip.Larvae burrow into soil to go into cocoons, where they remain for 2--3 weeks before they emerge as adults.

 
  White-lined Sphinx Moth (Sphingidae: Hyles lineata) Dorsal Close-up
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Published on Jun 3, 2012

Photographed at Grand Forks, North Dakota (03 June 2012).

 
       

 

Camcorder

 
 
Visitor Sightings
 
           
 

Report a sighting of this insect.

 
  This button not working for you?
Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Be sure to include a location.
 
  Chad & Autumn Brekke
8/27/2021

Location: Kilkenny, Minnesota

We took this photo last night… He was in our garage.

What a beautiful guy he was!

white-lined sphinx  
  Valerie Salley
9/16/2020

Location: Burnsville, Dakota Co.

white-lined sphinx  
  Caitlin
9/11/2020

Location: Norwood Young America

Found a caterpillar on the ground during this cold spell. Brought inside for the night.

 
  Plannine
7/16/2020

Location: Sherburne County

white-lined sphinx  
  Leigh49
7/1/2019

Location: Alexandria, MN

On my truck, after a rain!

white-lined sphinx  
  Candace
6/22/2019

Location: Milaca, MN

Loved my purple annuals in my garden!

   
  Scott Cole
8/11/2018

Location: Mankato, MN

...a moth feeding on a Bee Balm in our yard

white-lined sphinx  
  Todd
8/8/2018

Location: Cottage Grove MN

   
  Angie F
8/6/2018

Location: Woodbury MN

white-lined sphinx  
  LWel
8/1/2018

Location: St. Paul

Feasting between 9 & 10pm.

white-lined sphinx  
  Ken Greshowak
7/12/2018

Location: St. Louis County

white-lined sphinx  
  Nicole Vasquez
9/20/2017

Location: Silver Bay, MN

white-lined sphinx  
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings
 
   

 

 

Binoculars


Last Updated:

About Us | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | © 2021 MinnesotaSeasons.com. All rights reserved.