Moths of North Carolina
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101 NC Records

Darapsa choerilus (Cramer, [1780]) - Azalea Sphinx



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Taxonomy
Superfamily: Bombycoidea Family: SphingidaeSubfamily: MacroglossinaeTribe: MacroglossiniP3 Number: 890208.00 MONA Number: 7886.00
Comments: This genus of medium sized moths contains three species, all found in North Carolina. Long known as D. pholus, the correct name for this species is choerilus. Tuttle (2007) gives a history of these names.
Species Status: Bar codes indicate a single species throughout its range.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984; as Darapsa pholus); Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuideTechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1948); Hodges (1971); Tuttle (2007)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Forbes (1948); Wagner (2005); Tuttle (2007)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: Intermediate in size between the larger Darapsa versicolor and the smaller D. myron, D. choerilus is a redder color than those species and is distinguished by its straight postmedian line (curved in the other two). Sexes are similar.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: Larvae vary from brown to green with features similar to those of other members of this genus; they may be best distinguished by their host plants (see Wagner, 2005 for more information). Pupation occurs underground.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Widely distributed in the state except possibly the Barrier Islands.
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 in the Mountains and double brooded in the Piedmont and Coastal Plain.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Occurs more frequently in peatland and Longleaf Pine communities than the other two members of this genus, probably in associations with Azaleas and/or Viburnum nudum, an acidophilic species of Viburnum. Conversly, it does not appear to be present on the Barrier Islands where neither Azaleas nor Viburnums occur. Over most of the state, it also occurs in bottomlands, mesic slopes, and basic forests where Viburnums are common members of the shrub layer. In the Mountains, it occurs in cove forests, high elevation hardwooeds, and possibly heath balds, all of which support a diversity of Azaleas.
Larval Host Plants: Abbot illustrated adults and the entire life cycle from caterpillars found on Azalea. However, it may more frequently feed on Viburnums.
Observation Methods: Adults frequent flowers and come to bait. Comes regularly to 15 watt UV lights and is also seen around outdoor lights on buildings.
Wikipedia
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: Given its wide distribution across the state, broad range of habitats and use of common host plants, this species appears to be secure.

 Photo Gallery for Darapsa choerilus - Azalea Sphinx

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

Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2022-05-19
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2022-05-05
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2022-04-23
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: tom ward on 2021-05-29
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Owen McConnell on 2021-05-08
Graham Co.
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Recorded by: tom ward on 2021-05-02
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-08-20
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-05-17
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Owen and Pat McConnell on 2019-07-19
Graham Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-06-09
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jennifer Smith on 2019-04-30
Cumberland Co.
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Recorded by: Jennifer Smith on 2019-04-30
Cumberland Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-04-25
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Owen and Pat McConnell on 2018-08-11
Graham Co.
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Recorded by: David L. Heavner on 2018-08-08
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2018-05-16
McDowell Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-05-14
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-05-07
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2017-08-10
McDowell Co.
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Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2017-07-26
McDowell Co.
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Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2017-07-25
McDowell Co.
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Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2017-05-18
McDowell Co.
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Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2017-05-01
McDowell Co.
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Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2015-06-04
McDowell Co.
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Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2015-06-04
McDowell Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2014-07-11
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Darryl Willis on 2014-06-12
Cabarrus Co.
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Recorded by: Paul Scharf on 2013-07-29
Warren Co.
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Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2013-06-02
Transylvania Co.
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Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2013-05-20
Transylvania Co.
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