Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFSphingidae Members: 51 NC Records

Agrius cingulata (Fabricius, 1775) - Pink-spotted Hawk Moth


Taxonomy
Superfamily: Bombycoidea Family: SphingidaeSubfamily: SphinginaeTribe: SphinginiP3 Number: 890086.00 MONA Number: 7771.00
Comments: One of five worldwide species, the only one in North America.
Species Status: Barcodes indicate that there is just a single species of Agrius in our area.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984); Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, BAMONATechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1948); Hodges (1971); Tuttle (2007)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Forbes (1948); Wagner (2005); Tuttle (2007)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: Adults are unmistakable as the only sphingid species in our area with pink spots on the abdomen. Sexes similar.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from photos showing hindwings, abdomen, or other specialized views [e.g., frons, palps, antennae, undersides].
Immatures and Development: Larvae are highly variable but usually can be distinguished by two pairs of vertical stripes on the head and black spots on the dorsal surface of the thorax; most also have seven pale oblique stripes (Forbes, 1948). Pupation occurs in the soil.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Essentially a tropical species that migrates to North Carolina every year and probably breeds here and is eliminated most winters.
County Map: Clicking on a county returns the records for the species in that county.
Flight Dates:
 High Mountains (HM) ≥ 4,000 ft.
 Low Mountains (LM) < 4,000 ft.
 Piedmont (Pd)
 Coastal Plain (CP)

Click on graph to enlarge
Flight Comments: Adults are taken as early as May but most common late in the season.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Found predominantly in open agricultural areas anywhere in the state.
Larval Host Plants: Larvae feed on the underside of Ipomoea leaves. Often on morning glories but occasionally a pest on sweet potato (Forbes, 1948; Wagner, 2005).
Observation Methods: Adults readily come to strong lights, such as mercury-vapor lamps, but only in small numbers to 15 watt UV lights. They can also be captured as they nectar on flowers after dusk, but are not attracted to bait. Usually collected as singletons until September and October when adults become quite common, particularly at strong light sources.
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for General Fields, Gardens, and Ruderal Habitats
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G5 [S5]
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands
Comments: This is probably mainly a migratory species in our area and is found primarily in disturbed areas rather than natural habitats. Consequently, it is not a conservation concern in this state.

 Photo Gallery for Agrius cingulata - Pink-spotted Hawk Moth

Photos: 24

Recorded by: R. Newman on 2021-10-19
Carteret Co.
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Recorded by: R. Newman on 2021-10-02
Carteret Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-10-01
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-08-22
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Ken Kneidel on 2020-09-06
Mecklenburg Co.
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Recorded by: Ken Kneidel on 2020-09-06
Mecklenburg Co.
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Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2019-09-07
Yancey Co.
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Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2019-09-06
Yancey Co.
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Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2019-09-06
Yancey Co.
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Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2019-08-03
Yancey Co.
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Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2017-11-16
Onslow Co.
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Recorded by: R. Newman on 2017-09-20
Carteret Co.
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Recorded by: R. Newman on 2017-09-20
Carteret Co.
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Recorded by: Darryl Willis on 2014-10-16
Cabarrus Co.
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Recorded by: Paul Scharf on 2011-10-19
Warren Co.
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Recorded by: Doug Blatny / Jackie Nelson on 2011-09-03
Ashe Co.
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Recorded by: Paul Scharf on 2010-09-13
Warren Co.
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Recorded by: Paul Scharf on 2010-09-12
Warren Co.
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Recorded by: S. Bland on 2008-10-03
Onslow Co.
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Recorded by: Newman, Randy on 2006-09-26
Carteret Co.
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Recorded by: Newman, Randy on 2006-09-26
Carteret Co.
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Recorded by: Newman, Randy on 2004-10-30
Carteret Co.
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Recorded by: Newman, Randy on 2004-10-30
Carteret Co.
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Recorded by: Newman, Randy on 2002-09-20
Carteret Co.
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