Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

Pine hawkmoth
Sphinx pinastri Linnaeus, 1758


Family: Sphingidae
Subfamily: Sphinginae
Identification: Forewings are gray with a gray-brown overlay, black dashes near the center of the wing, and dark brown at the base of the inner margin. Hindwing is gray-brown with pale gray along the costal margin; and darker than the forewing.
Wing Span: 2 3/4 - 3 1/2 inches (7 - 9 cm).
Life History: Adults rest on pine tree trunks during the day. Females lay eggs in groups of 2 or 3 along pine or spruce needles. Caterpillars feed on the needles; when fully-grown they pupate and overwinter under leaf litter or in shallow burrows in the ground.
Flight: . One flight from June-August.
Caterpillar Hosts: Various species of conifers, including Scotch pine (Pinus sylvestris); and spruce, including Norway spruce (Picea abies).
Adult Food: Nectar from flowers including honeysuckle.
Habitat: Conifer forests.
Range: An introduced exotic from Europe, the moth was last seen in Pennsylvania, but probably has since disappeared in North America.
Conservation: Not required for an introduced species.
NCGR: G5 - Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Management Needs: In Europe, the caterpillars can sometimes be pests in coniferous forests.
Comments: NULL