Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

Rustic sphinx
Manduca rustica (Fabricius, 1775)

Family: Sphingidae
Subfamily: Sphinginae
Identification: Abdomen has 3 pairs of yellow spots. Forewing is yellowish brown to deep chocolate brown with a dusting of white scales and zigzagged black and white lines.
Wing Span: 3 7/16 - 5 15/16 inches (8.7 - 15 cm).
Life History: Adults begin feeding late at night, around 10 P.M.
Flight: . Several broods from May-October in Louisiana, two broods from July-November in the rest of the range.
Caterpillar Hosts: Fringe tree (Chionanthus virginicus) and jasmine (Jasminum species) in the olive family (Oleaceae), bushy matgrass (Lippia alba) in the vervain family (Verbenaceae), knockaway (Ehretia anacua) in the borage family (Boraginaceae), and Bignonia species in the Bignoniaceae.
Adult Food: Nectar from deep-throated flowers including moonflower (Calonyction aculeatum) and petunia (Petunia species).
Habitat: Warm temperate, subtropical, and tropical forests and second growth.
Range: Virginia to south Florida, west to Arkansas, Texas, southern New Mexico, Arizona, and southern California. South through Central America to Uruguay. Strays to Maine, Massachusetts, and New York.
Conservation: Not usually required.
NCGR: G5 - Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Management Needs: None reported.
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