Rustic Sphinx Moth (Manduca rustica)

Pricing: Dead (spread, as pictured): $40
Geographic Range: Southern U.S.A. to Uruguay
View: Top View  Size: Wing span: 87-150mm


Image Copyright 2003
Barbara Strnadova

Manduca rustica is a moth that mostly flies in warm temperate, subtropical, and tropical forests and second growth woodlands, from the southern U.S.A. all the way down to South America. The range of Manduca rustica extends from Virginia to Florida, west to Arkansas, Texas, southern New Mexico, Arizona, and southern California and then further south, through Central America, to Brazil, Bolivia and Uruguay. It also flies in Puerto Rico, Cuba and the Galapagos Islands. Manduca rustica is a powerful flier and strays have been recorded as far north as Maine, Massachusetts, and New York during the warm months of the year. In the southern parts of their range, adults usually fly as several broods from May through October, with some Central American locales having them present year-round. In the northern parts of its range there are two broods, with adults on the wing from July through November. Larvae are green with diagonal purple and white stripes and feed on plants in a number of families. Some accepted host-plants are: fringe tree (Chionanthus virginicus), jasmine (Jasminum sp.), bushy matgrass (Lippia alba), Wright's bee brush (Aloysia wrightii), knockaway (Ehretia anacua), and desert willow (Chilopsis linearis). Many other plants have been used to rear this moth in captivity. Two subspecies of Manduca rustica have been described: M. rustica rustica, which is found everywhere except the Antilles and the paler subspecies M. rustica harterti, which is found only on the Greater and Lesser Antilles.