Moths of North Carolina
Scientific Name:
Common Name:
Family (Alpha):
« »
View PDFSphingidae Members: 46 NC Records

Ceratomia catalpae (Boisduval, 1875) - Catalpa Sphinx



view caption

view caption
Taxonomy
Superfamily: Bombycoidea Family: SphingidaeSubfamily: SphinginaeTribe: SphinginiP3 Number: 890105.00 MONA Number: 7789.00
Comments: Six species of this genus occur in the US with a few more in the Neotropics. The genus appears to be an assemblage of several unrecognized genera and our three species eventually will probably all be placed in separate genera.
Species Status: Barcodes indicate that Ceratomia catalpae is a single, well-defined species 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: This is the smallest and darkest species in the genus in North Carolina. Can be confused with C. undulosa but this is a smaller and darker species that usually appears smudged. It is usually captured within sight of a Catalpa tree. Sexes are similar.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: Caterpillar pattern is variable but usually yellow and black with a black head; larvae are gregarious in the early stages. Pupation occurs underground.
Larvae ID Requirements: Unmistakable and widely known.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: More common in the mountains than elsewhere in the state but may occur statewide except possibly for the Barrier Islands and High Mountains.
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
Immature 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: Probably two broods
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Catalpa is native to riparian habitats in the Mississippi Valley and Gulf Coast but is not considered to be naturally occurring in North Carolina. Most records for this moth are probably associated with either planted Catalpa or with escapes that are now found widely along the edges of fields and other disturbed areas. The moth may have spread artificially, since the caterpillars are often raised commercially as fish bait.
Larval Host Plants: Monophagous, one of the few members of this family specialized on a single host plant. Catalpa is exclusively used as recorded so far.
Observation Methods: Adults have a very short proboscis and lack the full set of muscles needed to imbibe nectar. They have not been recorded at flowers but come readily to light but not to baits. Caterpillars can be quite conspicuous.
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 SNA
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: As a likely introduced species feeding on an introduced, somewhat invasive plant, this species is of no conservation concern in North Carolina except possibly as a control on the spread of Catalpa.

 Photo Gallery for Ceratomia catalpae - Catalpa Sphinx

35 photos are available. Only the most recent 30 are shown.

Recorded by: David George, L. M. Carlson on 2021-09-11
Orange Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Bo Sullivan on 2021-08-10
Moore Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: David George on 2021-07-01
Durham Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: David George on 2021-07-01
Durham Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka, Bo Sullivan and Steve Hall on 2021-06-07
Moore Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2020-09-30
Wake Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2020-09-30
Wake Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-09-15
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-09-15
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Heather Burditt on 2020-08-27
Buncombe Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Heather Burditt on 2020-08-27
Buncombe Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Heather Burditt on 2020-08-27
Buncombe Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2020-08-20
Buncombe Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-07-22
Guilford Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-05-24
Guilford Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-09-11
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-09-11
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-09-11
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: David L. Heavner on 2018-08-05
Buncombe Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2018-06-08
Guilford Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2018-06-08
Guilford Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2018-06-08
Guilford Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: K. Sanford on 2016-09-05
Camden Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Lori Owenby on 2016-06-14
Catawba Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: K. Sanford on 2015-08-06
Camden Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jenna Schreiber on 2015-07-28
Durham Co.
Comment: Found feeding on Catalpa growing along a disturbed roadside
Recorded by: Jenna Schreiber on 2015-07-28
Durham Co.
Comment: Found feeding on Catalpa growing along a disturbed roadside
Recorded by: Jenna Schreiber on 2015-07-28
Durham Co.
Comment: Catalpa defoliated by Ceratomia larvae
Recorded by: Doug Blatny/Jackie Nelson on 2012-08-28
Ashe Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Lori Owenby on 2012-08-12
Catawba Co.
Comment: