How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Sphinx moths

There are several species of sphinx moths that vary somewhat from one another, particularly in color and pattern. Sphinx moth larvae are distinguished by a long black horn on the back end. When fully grown, the caterpillar is 3 inches long, has a dark button where the horn used to be, may vary in color, and has at least six diagonal white stripes down the sides.

Life cycle

Damage

Sphinx moths are generally minor pests, appearing cyclically. Caterpillars feed on grape leaves, first causing small round holes and later consuming the entire leaf.

Solutions

Because the occurrence of sphinx moths is cyclic, noticeable damage is uncommon. Naturally occurring parasites normally control this pest, and other control should not be needed.

Sphinx moth larva
Sphinx moth larva

Sphinx moth adult
Sphinx moth adult


Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
All contents copyright © 2014 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

For noncommercial purposes only, any Web site may link directly to this page. FOR ALL OTHER USES or more information, read Legal Notices. Unfortunately, we cannot provide individual solutions to specific pest problems. See our Home page, or in the U.S., contact your local Cooperative Extension office for assistance.

Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California

Accessibility   /PMG/GARDEN/FRUIT/PESTS/spinxmoths.html revised: April 25, 2014. Contact webmaster.