Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

Laurel sphinx
Sphinx kalmiae J.E. Smith, 1797

Family: Sphingidae
Subfamily: Sphinginae
Identification: Forewing is yellowish brown with a thin whitish line along the outer margin and a black patch along the inner margin. Hindwing is tan with a black border, black median line, and black patch at the base.
Wing Span: 2 15/16 - 4 1/16 inches (7.5 - 10.3 cm).
Life History: Fully-grown caterpillars pupate in cells dug in loose soil. Caterpillars of the second brood pupate and overwinter.
Flight: . Probably two broods from March-October.
Caterpillar Hosts: Laurel (Kalmia latifolia), lilac (Syringa vulgaris), fringe tree (Chionanthus virginicus), privet (Ligustrum), ash (Fraxinus), poplar (Populus), mountain holly (Nemopanthus mucronatus), and northern bush honeysuckle (Diervilla lonicera).
Adult Food: Bouncing bet (Saponaria officinalis) and Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica).
Habitat: Not reported.
Range: Newfoundland and Maine west to Manitoba and North Dakota; south to Alabama and Louisiana.
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.