galium sphinx

(Hyles gallii)

               
Hodges #

7893

galium sphinx

 

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not listed

NatureServe

N4 - Apparently Secure

SNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Not uncommon in Minnesota

Flight/Season

One generation: May through August

Habitat/Hosts

Forest edges, meadows, roadsides, gardens

Size

Total Length: 1½ to 2 (38 to 50 mm)

Wingspan: 29 16 to 31 16 (64 to 78 mm)

Photo by Luciearl
 
Identification

Galium sphinx is a large moth. It occurs around the globe in temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. In the United States it occurs as far south as Iowa. It is common and increasing in the east from Connecticut to Pennsylvania. It is not uncommon in Minnesota. It is found in forest edges, meadows, roadsides, and gardens.

Adults are 1½ to 2 (38 to 50 mm) long and have a wingspan of 29 16 to 31 16 (64 to 78 mm).

The forewing is long and narrow with a smooth forward (costal) margin, a convex outer margin, and a slightly concave inner margin. The upperside is dark olive brown near the costal and inner margins, blackish-gray toward the center. A narrow tan band extends diagonally from the inner margin near the base to the wing tip. The veins are inconspicuous, dark in the tan stripe, brown and slightly lighter in the dark areas. Unlike the closely-related white-lined sphinx, there are no white streaks along the veins. There is a pale spot in the basal area and a small, irregular, white patch in the median area.

The hindwing is blackish gray with a pale fringe and a broad, deep pink band extending diagonally from the inner margin near the body to the outer margin near the apex.

The head and thorax are dark olive brown. A thin white stripe on each side of the head extends along the side of the thorax.

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. The background color is highly variable. It is usually brown or black, sometimes green. There are often small, yellow, vertically aligned spots on the sides. On some individuals, these spots densely cover the entire body. There is large yellowish spot on each side in the subdorsal area of the third segment of the thorax and on abdominal segments 1 through 8. These spots are usually broadly surrounded with black. A stout, bright red horn extends from the middorsal surface of the eighth abdominal segment. The breathing pores (spiracles) on each lower side of each abdominal segment are pale with a narrow black border. The head, prothoracic shield, and anal plate are always the same color, usually reddish, sometimes lavender-purple.

Mature caterpillars can be found from mid-August to October.

 
Similar
Species

 

 
Larval Food

Bedstraw (Galium spp.), willowherb (Epilobium spp.), and fireweed (Chamerion spp.)

 
Adult Food

Flower nectar

 
Life Cycle

The female lays eggs on the leaves of host plants. Pupa overwinter in the ground.

 
Behavior

Adults are active from late afternoon through the night. They are attracted to light.

 
Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 21, 24, 29, 30, 75.

 
Comments

 

 
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

 
Synonyms

Hyles gallii gallii

Hyles gallii intermedia

 
Common
Names

bedstraw hawkmoth

galium sphinx

galium sphinx moth

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Costal margin

The leading edge of the forewing of insects.

 

Spiracle

A small opening on the surface of an insect through which the insect breathes.

 

 

 

 

 

       
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Luciearl
       
  galium sphinx    
       
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Camera

     
Slideshows
   
  Galium Sphinx (Hyles gallii)
Andree Reno Sanborn
 
  Galium Sphinx (Hyles gallii)  

 

slideshow

       
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Other Videos
 
  Hyles Gallii The Bedstraw Hawkmoth
MrIAC67
 
   
 
About

Published on Nov 17, 2014

Bedstraw Hawkmoth Hyles gallii. June 2013 Berwickshire, Scotland.

   
       
  Gallium Sphinx Moth (Hyles gallii) Taking Flight
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Published on Jul 26, 2014

Gallium Sphinx Moth (Hyles gallii) takes flight. Larimore, North Dakota (26 July 2013).

   
       
  Bedstraw Hawk-Moth Caterpillar (Hyles gallii) 1Of2
DJ's Nature Planet
 
   
 
About

Published on Jul 23, 2016

A fully grown green larva. This species also has a black colored larval form.

   
       
  Galium Sphinx moth (Hyles gallii) caterpillar
Henry Jurenka
 
   
 
About

Published on Sep 15, 2017

Three inch long caterpillar devouring a bedstraw plant

   
       

 

Camcorder

         
Visitor Sightings
   
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Luciearl
8/1/2019

Location: Cass County

galium sphinx


     
     
 
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Created: 8/9/2019

Last Updated:

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