The Ash Sphinx (Manduca jasminearum) is mostly black and white with an occasional smearing of brown. It is a relatively large moth with a wingspan from approximately 8 to 10 cm. In our area it has two broods from May to September and may be seen in flight during most of the summer months.
Adult sphinx moths have a long tubular proboscis for sucking nectar from various flowers. The Ash Sphinx caterpillar feeds on ash trees. If you find a caterpillar feeding on an ash tree, check for the typical horn at the end of its abdomen. Most likely you have spotted the Ash Sphinx caterpillar. This species is most common along coastal areas. Local collectors consider it a rare find.
Related information is posted on the White-lined Sphinx, the Rustic Sphinx, and hornworms.
Copyright © 2003 William T. Hathaway.