Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFSphingidae Members: 13 NC Records

Eumorpha achemon (Drury, 1773) - Achemon Sphinx


Taxonomy
Superfamily: Bombycoidea Family: SphingidaeSubfamily: MacroglossinaeTribe: MacroglossiniP3 Number: 890184.00 MONA Number: 7861.00
Comments: This is largely a Neotropical genus but 12 species are recorded from the U.S. and 5 from North Carolina.
Species Status: Bar codes indicate that achemon is a single species.
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; described but not illustrated); Tuttle (2007)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: A moderately large sphinx moth strongly marked with light and dark brown patches on its forewings and body. The pinkish hindwings with a squarish black blotch medially on the forewing anal edge are characteristic. Sexes are similar.
Adult ID Requirements: Unmistakable and widely known.
Immatures and Development: Larvae are similar to those of pandorus but the lateral spots are more elongated and slightly divided and bead-like (Forbes, 1948). Wagner (2005) adds that the body is peppered with dark brown spots. Pupation occurs underground.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: The species is known from two counties in the middle of the state but we have seen no specimens or photographs; sight records for both larvae and adults exist for several sites along the coast. Its primary range is north of us and the species is regarded as uncommon to rare this far south.
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: Sight records for adults come from Fort Macon State Park on two dates in May, 2001.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Host plants used by this species are widespread in a variety of open and forested habitats. However, apart from the two historic records from the Piedmont, all of our records come from the Outer Coastal Plain, primarily from Barrier Islands. where grape tangles occur in both maritime forests and in open dunes. Another larval record comes from Great Dismal Swamp, probably from non-riverine swamp forest habitat.
Larval Host Plants: Stenophagous, larvae feeding on Vitaceae, mainly wild grape and Virginia Creeper.
Observation Methods: Adults, like other members of this genus, probably visit flowers but do not come to bait. The scarcity of records both in North Carolina and elsewhere may be due to their lack of attraction to low intensity UV and other lights; more records might be obtained from use of mercury-vapor. Given the existence of several larval records in our area, surveys of grape tangles are likely to be productive.
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for General Vitaceous Tangles
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: Larval records indicate that this species is resident in the state, at least along the coast. The scarcity of records suggest, however, that it is rare here, although neither habitat nor host plants appear to be limiting factors. More surveys making use of mercury-vapor or other high intensity UV lights may be necessary to determine its conservation status in North Carolina.

 Photo Gallery for Eumorpha achemon - Achemon Sphinx

Photos: 14

Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Bo Sullivan on 2021-08-09
Moore Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-08-13
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-08-13
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Erich Hofmann on 2020-07-12
Craven Co.
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Recorded by: Erich Hofmann on 2020-07-12
Craven Co.
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Recorded by: Erich Hofmann on 2020-07-12
Craven Co.
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Recorded by: Darryl Willis on 2018-07-30
Cabarrus Co.
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Recorded by: Taylor Piephoff on 2013-07-31
Mecklenburg Co.
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Recorded by: Laura Dillon, Heather Smith, Matt Windsor on 2006-07-08
Dare Co.
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Recorded by: Laura Dillon, Heather Smith, Matt Windsor on 2006-07-08
Dare Co.
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Recorded by: Laura Dillon, Heather Smith, Matt Windsor on 2006-07-08
Dare Co.
Comment: sometime after July 8
Recorded by: Laura Dillon, Heather Smith, Matt Windsor on 2006-07-08
Dare Co.
Comment: sometime after July 8
Recorded by: Newman, Randy on 2005-05-10
Carteret Co.
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Recorded by: Newman, Randy on 2005-05-10
Carteret Co.
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