SPHINX ISTAR, THE ISTAR SPHINX


Sphinx Istar by Bruce Walsh.

This site has been created by Bill Oehlke at oehlkew@pei.sympatico.ca
Comments, suggestions and/or additional information are welcomed by Bill.

TAXONOMY:

Family: Sphingidae, Latreille, 1802
Subfamily: Sphinginae, Latreille, 1802
Tribe: Sphingini, Latreille, 1802
Genus: Sphinx (Linnaeus, 1758)
Species: istar, Rothschild& Jordan, 1903........

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DISTRIBUTION:

Sphinx istar, the Istar Sphinx (Wing span: 4 - 4 1/2 inches (10.2 - 11.4 cm)), flies in mountains and pine-oak woodlands from southern Arizona east to South Texas and south to Guatemala. Mexico is the specimen type locality.

The upperside of the forewing is dark gray with brown tinges. A series of narrow dashes runs from the tip to the cell spots, and a wide black band runs from the middle of the outer margin to the base of the wing. The upperside of the hindwing is black with two white bands.

FLIGHT TIMES:

Sphinx istar adults fly from July-September.

ECLOSION:

Little is known about the eclosions of the earth pupators, but many believe pupae wiggle toward the surface just prior to emergence.

SCENTING AND MATING:

Istar females extend a scent gland from the posterior of the abdomen to lure in the night flying males.

EGGS, LARVAE, PUPAE:

Istar Sphinx larvae feed primarily on mints (Salvia).

Lintneria (Sphinx) istar or separatus, Ft. Davis, Texas,
October 1, 2005, courtesy of Katherine McMahon.

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