Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFSphingidae Members: 11 NC Records

Lintneria eremitus (Hübner, 1823) - Hermit Sphinx


Taxonomy
Superfamily: Bombycoidea Family: SphingidaeSubfamily: SphinginaeTribe: SphinginiP3 Number: 890128.00 MONA Number: 7796.00
Comments: Long a member of the genus Sphinx, this species is now included in Lintneria along with 4 other species in North America and about 15 from the Neotropics. Larval characters unite the genus.
Species Status: Barcodes indicate that Lintneria eremitus 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: A dark, heavily streaked sphinx moth. A black triangular patch at the base of the hindwing and two well-developed bands on the hindwing distinguish this species; photographs should show a portion of the hindwings should be sufficient to separate this species from Paratrea and other species with heavy markings and a pale discal spot on the forewings. Sexes are similar.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: The larva has a peculiar dorsal protuberance on the second thoracic segment in early instars which disappears in the fifth larval stage and is replaced by a diagnostic hump. This transformation unites the members of the genus and all 5 species in the U.S. feed on mints. A large, dark eyespot is also typically found on the dorsal surface of the thorax (Wagner, 2005).
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Records from the Piedmont all appear to be historic (from Brimley, 1938). Recent records are all from New River State Park in the northern 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
Flight Comments: Single brooded in the summer.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Normally found in wooded areas although the foodplants often grow in more open areas such as roadsides, power cuts and old fields. Our records come primarily from riparian habitats.
Larval Host Plants: Oligophagous, feeding on a wide range of sage and mint species as well as others in the mint family, Lamiaceae.
Observation Methods: Adults visit flowers at dusk but seem to be weakly attracted to lights where they are usually trapped in ones. Wagner (2005) states that males fly early in the evening explaining why light traps are ineffective in monitoring populations of this species.
Wikipedia
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G4G5 [SU]
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands
Comments: Very few records exist for North Carolina and even fewer that are current. Possibly undersampled through use of 15 watt UV lightraps. More information is needed on its distribution and habitat affinities before its conservation status can be accurately assessed. Host plants and presumed habitats do not appear to be limiting factors.

 Photo Gallery for Lintneria eremitus - Hermit Sphinx

Photos: 7

Recorded by: tom ward on 2021-07-18
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: tom ward on 2021-07-18
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: tom ward on 2021-07-18
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Owen and Pat McConnell on 2019-06-09
Graham Co.
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Recorded by: Owen and Pat McConnell on 2019-06-09
Graham Co.
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Recorded by: Doug Blatny / Jackie Nelson on 2013-07-07
Ashe Co.
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Recorded by: Doug Blatny/Jackie Nelson on 2012-07-04
Ashe Co.
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