Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

Tersa Sphinx
Xylophanes tersa (Linnaeus, 1771)


Family: Sphingidae
Subfamily: Macroglossinae
Identification: Forewing upperside is pale brown with lavender-gray at the base and dark brown lengthwise lines throughout. Hindwing upperside is dark brown with a band of whitish wedge-shaped marks.
Wing Span: 2 3/8 - 3 1/8 inches (6 - 8 cm).
Life History: Adults begin feeding at sunset.
Flight: . One brood in the north from May-October, several broods in Florida and Louisiana from February-November.
Caterpillar Hosts: Smooth buttonplant (Spermacoce glabra), starclusters (Pentas species), Borreria, Catalpa, and Manettia species.
Adult Food: Nectar from flowers including honeysuckle (Lonicera).
Habitat: Not reported.
Range: Massachusetts south to south Florida; west to Nebraska, New Mexico, and southern Arizona; south through Mexico, the West Indies, and Central America to Argentina.
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.
Comments: NULL