Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFSphingidae Members: 24 NC Records

Manduca jasminearum (Guérin, [1831]) - Ash Sphinx



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Taxonomy
Superfamily: Bombycoidea Family: SphingidaeSubfamily: SphinginaeTribe: SphinginiP3 Number: 890096.00 MONA Number: 7783.00
Comments: A large Neotropical genus (63 species) of which 4 occur in North Carolina.
Species Status: Barcodes indicate that Manduca jasminearum 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); Tuttle (2007)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Forbes (1948); Hodges (1971); Tuttle (2007)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: A large, brownish sphinx moth with a strong dark line running diagonally across the forewing. Can be confused with the common Ceratomia undulosa. The latter has three lateral black lines in the forewing whereas M. jaminearum has the one principal line, which is much broader than in C. undulosa, and a small medial dash below it. There is only a faint white reniform spot, if any, unlike the conspicuous spot found in C.undulosa. Sexes are similar.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: Larvae are pale yellowish-green with seven pale, oblique, lateral stripes, with the last edged with red and darker green (Forbes, 1948). Pupation occurs underground.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Probably occurs across most of the state, with the possible exceptions of 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
Flight Comments: A single brood with adults usually in June and July, more common in the mid-elevation forests of the mountains.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: We have too few records to say much specifically about the range of habitats used by this species. Most come from rich riparian areas, including brownwater river floodplains in the Coastal Plain. In the Mountains, mesic upland habitats are used, probably where there are mafic soils that are preferred by Ashes.
Larval Host Plants: Believed to be stenophagous on Ash (Fraxinus spp.) but few larvae have ever been found (perhaps they forage high in the foliage). Green Ash (F. pennsylvanica) and White Ash (F. americana) are probably the main species used. None of our records come from swamp forests, where Pumpkin (F. profunda) and Carolina Ash (F. caroliniana) occur. Any life history data would be welcome.
Observation Methods: Adults are found where there ash in hardwood forests. There are no nectaring records but the species seems to come readily to lights but not baits -- in the right habitat, this species can be quite regular at lights placed in forested areas.
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for Ash Forests
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G4G5 [SU]
State Protection: None currently, but we recommend that it be added to the Natural Heritage Program Watch List.
Comments: This species is likely to be a specialist on habitats with rich soils, which are preferred by most of our ash species (swamp species being the only exceptions). Such habitats are still plentiful in the state and the absence of records from areas such as the Lower Roanoke Floodplain, where ashes are abundant, suggests that this species may be undersampled unless mercury-vapor or high intensity UV floodlamps are used. Whatever its pre-Emerald Ash Borer status in North Carolina, the arrival of that exotic beetle in the state in 2013 poses a severe threat to this species and to other ash specialists. If ash species go the way of the American Chestnut -- which seems possible -- there is a good chance that this species could go extinct within the next 50 years (see Wagner, 2007, for a discussion of this threat).

 Photo Gallery for Manduca jasminearum - Ash Sphinx

Photos: 17

Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-07-06
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-07-06
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Brian Bockhahn on 2019-07-24
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-07-03
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Patrick and Megan Blythe on 2019-07-02
Macon Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-06-03
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Owen and Pat McConnell on 2018-07-18
Graham Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-07-09
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-06-16
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Stephen Hall; Brian Bockhahn; Paul Scharf on 2016-07-21
Stokes Co.
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Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2013-07-03
Transylvania Co.
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Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2013-07-03
Transylvania Co.
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Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2013-07-03
Transylvania Co.
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Recorded by: Owen McConnell on 2012-06-24
Graham Co.
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Recorded by: Doug Blatny / Jackie Nelson on 2011-07-09
Ashe Co.
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Recorded by: Taylor Piephoff on 2011-06-06
Mecklenburg Co.
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Recorded by: Paul Scharf on 2010-08-16
Warren Co.
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