Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFSphingidae Members: 87 NC Records

Ceratomia undulosa (Walker, 1856) - Waved Sphinx



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Taxonomy
Superfamily: Bombycoidea Family: SphingidaeSubfamily: SphinginaeTribe: SphinginiP3 Number: 890103.00 MONA Number: 7787.00
Comments: Six species of this genus occur in the US with a few more in the Neotropics. The genus appears to be an assemblage of several unrecognized genera and our three species eventually will probably all be placed in separate genera.
Species Status: Barcodes indicate that Ceratomia undulosa 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); Hodges (1971); Tuttle (2007)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Forbes (1948); Wagner (2005); Tuttle (2007)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: A large, grayish brown sphinx moth with double lines, several dark dashes, and a small white discal dot. This species is most likely to be confused with C. catalpae which is a smaller, duller brown species with a reduced reniform spot. It is also similar in at least size and shape to Manduca jasminearum, which is generally browner, has a prominent oblique dark dash, and lacks a discal dot. Sexes are similar.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: Larvae are green with seven pale oblique stripes on the sides of the abdomen, similar to those of Manduca and other sphinx moths; the head has a distinctive white band along its outer margin (Wagner, 2005). Pupation occurs underground.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Our most common Ceratomia (unless you live in a grove of Catalpa trees) and found everywhere in North Carolina.
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: Apparently there are two broods but individuals flying in May and representing the first brood are uncommon. Later in the season this species together with Darapsa myron and Paonias excaecata make up the bulk of sphingid catches in light traps.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Our records come almost entirely from hardwood forests growing on rich soils, including brownwater river floodplains in the Coastal Plain, riparian and basic-mesic forests in the Piedmont and Mountains (including rich cove forests). Additionally, there are several records from the Great Dismal Swamp State Park, possibly associated with blackwater swamp species of Ash (i.e., Carolina or Pumpkin Ash).
Larval Host Plants: Stenophagous. Mainly on Ash but Wagner (2005) also lists Fringe Tree and Lilac (also in the Oleaceae).
Observation Methods: Originally recorded as feeding on flowers but the tongue is small and with no recent nectaring records, feeding is questionable. Adults come readily to lights but not to baits.
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for Ash Forests
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: This is another species that may be negatively impacted by the spread of the emerald ash borer. However, it is currently widespread and abundant and its potential use of host plants other than Ash may allow it to be spared. It's status should be monitored as the Emerald Ash Borer continues to spread in the state.

 Photo Gallery for Ceratomia undulosa - Waved Sphinx

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

Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-04-06
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Simpson Eason and Owen MCConnell on 2019-09-07
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: L. M. Carlson on 2019-08-10
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-06-24
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-06-24
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Owen and Pat McConnell on 2019-06-20
Graham Co.
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Recorded by: Owen and Pat McConnell on 2019-06-14
Graham Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-04-30
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-04-29
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2018-08-29
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Steve Hall and Bo Sullivan on 2018-07-18
Ashe 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 2018-07-03
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-05-18
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-05-18
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Scott Pohlman on 2017-06-05
Granville Co.
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Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2016-10-08
Burke Co.
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Recorded by: Lori Owenby on 2016-05-02
Catawba Co.
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Recorded by: Lenny Lampel on 2015-07-16
Mecklenburg Co.
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Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2015-07-11
Burke Co.
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Recorded by: J. A. Anderson on 2015-07-04
Surry Co.
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Recorded by: B. Bockhahn, P. Scharf, K. Kittelberger on 2015-06-18
Avery Co.
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Recorded by: Paul Scharf, B Bockhahn on 2014-08-25
Surry Co.
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Recorded by: Jeff Beane on 2014-07-15
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Jeff Beane on 2014-07-15
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Lori Owenby on 2014-07-03
Yancey Co.
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Recorded by: Paul Scharf on 2013-06-05
Warren Co.
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Recorded by: Owen McConnell on 2012-06-29
Graham Co.
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Recorded by: Paul Scharf on 2010-06-17
Warren Co.
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