Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFSphingidae Members: 174 NC Records

Deidamia inscriptum (Harris, 1839) - Lettered Sphinx


Taxonomy
Superfamily: Bombycoidea Family: SphingidaeSubfamily: MacroglossinaeTribe: MacroglossiniP3 Number: 890193.00 MONA Number: 7871.00
Comments: The only member of this genus.
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 our smallest Sphinx moths. The forewings are distinctively cross-banded with pale gray or tan and darker brown and have a larger patch of dark brown near the outer margin. The hindwings are reddish or orange. Sexes are similar.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: Larvae are light yellowish-green with the usual pale oblique lines on the sides more-or-less obscure. A pale subdorsal line runs from the head up onto the caudal horn. Spiracles are white and bounded by a pair of veritical dark bars. Pupation occurs underground.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Occurs statewide, from the Barrier Islands to the 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: Single spring flight.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: A number of records come from barrier islands, both from maritime forest and dunes, where grapes form thick tangles in places. Across the rest of the state, our records come primarily from hardwood-dominated forests, ranging from floodplain forests to cove forests to dry ridges.
Larval Host Plants: Oligophagous, feeding on Sourwood (Ericacaea) and Vitaceae. Larvae have been known to denude Sourwoods at moderate elevations in the mountains (Wagner, 2005).
Observation Methods: Adults visit flowers but have not been recorded at bait. They come well to 15 watt UV lights, regularly observed in suitable habitat, often as multiple individuals.
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for General Vitaceous Tangles
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: Clearly populations fluctuate from year to year but the size of such outbreaks has not been recorded nor has their frequency in any one locality been noted. Tachinid fly populations may regulate the numbers from year to year. 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 Deidamia inscriptum - Lettered Sphinx

Photos: 25

Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-05-24
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-05-16
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: C. Helms, J. Davis on 2020-04-27
New Hanover Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-04-04
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2020-03-28
Onslow Co.
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Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2020-03-21
Onslow Co.
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Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2020-03-18
Onslow Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-05-16
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-05-16
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-04-28
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-04-28
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-04-13
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Lori Owenby on 2016-04-17
Catawba Co.
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Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2015-05-08
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2015-04-20
McDowell Co.
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Recorded by: Britta Muiznieks on 2014-05-22
Dare Co.
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Recorded by: Britta Muiznieks on 2014-05-04
Dare Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2014-04-24
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Britta Muiznieks on 2014-04-23
Dare Co.
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Recorded by: Jason Brown on 2014-03-20
New Hanover Co.
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Recorded by: Lori Owenby on 2011-05-07
Catawba Co.
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Recorded by: Lori Owenby on 2011-04-29
Catawba Co.
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Recorded by: Paul Scharf on 2011-04-16
Warren Co.
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Recorded by: Paul Scharf on 2011-04-14
Warren Co.
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Recorded by: Lori Owenby on 2011-04-08
Catawba Co.
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