Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFSphingidae Members: 55 NC Records

Sphecodina abbottii (Swainson, 1821) - Abbot's Sphinx


Taxonomy
Superfamily: Bombycoidea Family: SphingidaeSubfamily: MacroglossinaeTribe: MacroglossiniP3 Number: 890192.00 MONA Number: 7870.00
Comments: A genus of two species but only one in our area and the other in the eastern Palearctic.
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: One of the smaller Sphinx moths, the dark brown or gray, longitudinaly-streaked forewing and yellow-edged hindwing are unmistakable. Sexes are similar.
Adult ID Requirements: Unmistakable and widely known.
Immatures and Development: Larvae are variable in color but late instars have a distinctive eye-like knob located where the caudal horn occurs in other Sphingids. Pupation occurs underground.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Potentially occurs statewide but records are widely scattered in time and location.
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: Probably single brooded with flights in April and May in the Coastal Plain and June-July in the Mountains and Piedmont.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Our records come hardwood-dominated habitats, including bottomlands in the Coastal Plain and both mesic and dry forested habitats in the Mountains and Piedmont. We have no records from maritime, peatland, or Longleaf Pine habitat types.
Larval Host Plants: Stenophagous. Larvae feed on members of the Vitaceae, including grapes and Virginia Creeper.
Observation Methods: Adults visit flowers and sap flows and there are also reports from carrion and feces; we have no records, however, from bait, although that would seem the most promising way to sample for them. While we have a few records from 15 watt UV lights, the scarcity of records suggests that higher intensity lights, such as mercury-vapor, may be needed to accurately assess its distribution and abundance. Larvae can be found by searching through grape tangles.
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for General Vitaceous Tangles
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G5 [SU]
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: North Carolina records are scarce but habitat and host plants do not appear to be limiting factors. The populations of this species must fluctuate from year to year for they are sometimes quite common and then disappear. More effective sampling approaches need to be developed before the status of this species can be determined.

 Photo Gallery for Sphecodina abbottii - Abbot's Sphinx

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

Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-06-18
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-06-13
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Darryl Willis on 2021-05-29
Cabarrus Co.
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Recorded by: Owen McConnell on 2021-05-28
Graham Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2021-05-01
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2021-04-13
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-04-08
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2021-04-04
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2021-03-26
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-03-26
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-03-26
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-07-20
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Erich Hofmann and Kayla Weinfurther on 2020-06-07
Craven Co.
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Recorded by: Erich Hofmann and Kayla Weinfurther on 2020-06-07
Craven Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-05-02
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-04-21
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-04-14
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-04-03
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-03-25
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-03-25
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Stephen Hall on 2019-06-28
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-06-21
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: F. Williams, S. Williams on 2019-06-01
Stokes Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-05-06
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: David L. Heavner & Vin Stanton on 2019-04-13
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Lori Owenby on 2018-06-29
Catawba Co.
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Recorded by: Lori Owenby on 2018-06-29
Catawba Co.
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Recorded by: Lori Owenby on 2018-06-29
Catawba Co.
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Recorded by: Julie Tuttle on 2018-05-31
Chatham Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-05-30
Madison Co.
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