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Bill Oehlke at email@example.com
Comments, suggestions and/or additional information are welcomed by Bill.
Superfamily: Sphingoidea, Dyar, 1902
The forewing is light grey and brown with many lines, and there are dark patches near the middle of the inner margin, near the apex and near the anal angle. The entire basal area of the hindwing is pink.
Visit Eumorpha achemon, Glen Burnie, Anne Arundel County, Maryland, August 16, 2008, courtesy of Saundra Byrd.
Visit Eumorpha achemon adult, Greenwood Village, Arapahoe County, Colorado, courtesy of Mary Anne Shube.
Visit Eumorpha achemon adult, Wolf Creek, Josephine County, Oregon, courtesy of
Edna Woodward, from reared larvae from eggs; also July 17, 2011, at lights.
Visit Eumorpha achemon, Hitaga Sand Ridge Prairie Reserve, Linn County, Iowa, July 8, 2010, Thomas Jantscher.
Edna Woodward of Wolf Creek, Josephine county, southwestern Oregon observes: "I would say they don't come to the lights all that well until I got the black light."
Some moth species definitely respond better to some wavelengths than they do to others. I often receive images of the Achemon Sphinx (Eumorpha achemon) larvae, but seldom receive images of the adult moths at lights. On the other hand, I receive many digital images of Pandorus Sphinx (Eumorpha pandorus) adults responding to normal house lights. Sargent observed similar differences in many Catocala species when comparing responses to either Mercury Vapour or black lights. He also observed that some Catocala species respond much better to bait than they do to any type of light.
Visit Eumorpha achemon larva and adult, Willingboro, Burlington County, New Jersey, July-August 2010, Colleen Magnuson.
Eumorpha achemon, Rockport, Essex County, Massachusetts, courtesy of Kim Smith.
Those who first published descriptions and
assigned scientific names to many insects, simply chose names of
biblical or mythological origin without any real descriptive
qualities. Their purpose was simply to set a standard for purposes
of identification by assigned name. On some occasions, names,
mostly of Latin or Greek origin, were chosen to signify a particular
character of the genus or of an individual species.
The genus name "Eumorpha" means well-formed.
In Greek mythology, Achemon and his brother Basalas were two
Cercopes who were constantly arguing. One day they insulted Hercules,
who tied them by their feet to his club and marched off with them
like a brace of hares.
The genus name "Eumorpha" means well-formed.
In Greek mythology, Achemon and his brother Basalas were two Cercopes who were constantly arguing. One day they insulted Hercules, who tied them by their feet to his club and marched off with them like a brace of hares.
The pronunciation of scientific names is
troublesome for many. The "suggestion" at the top of the page is
merely a suggestion. It is based on commonly
accepted English pronunciation of Greek names and/or some
fairly well accepted "rules" for latinized scientific names.
The suggested pronunciations, on this page and on other pages,
are primarily put forward to assist those who hear with internal
ears as they read.
There are many collectors from different countries whose
intonations and accents would be different.
The suggested pronunciations, on this page and on other pages, are primarily put forward to assist those who hear with internal ears as they read.
There are many collectors from different countries whose intonations and accents would be different.
Adults nectar from flowers of Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica), petunia (Petunia hybrida), mock orange (Philadelphus coronarius), and phlox (Phlox).
Eumorpha achemon May 29, 2008, nectaring at honeysuckle,
Inyo County, California, courtesy of Ruth Nielsen.
Larvae get quite large and occur in both a light (green) form, a reddish-orange form, and a darker (tan/brown) form. The dark form, courtesy of Chris Conlan is depicted below.
Eumorpha achemon, Slocomb, Geneva County, Alabama,
September 21, 2008, courtesy of Joan Brown.
Eumorpha achemon female, Louisiana, courtesy of Vernon A. Brou.
Eggs hatch in six to nine days, depending upon temperature and humidity.
Eumorpha achemon, third or fourth instar (red-brown form), August 16,2008,
Rockport, Essex County, Massachusetts, courtesy of Kim Smith.
Eumorpha achemon, third or fourth instar larva (green form), June 25, 2005,
Lake Elsinore in Riverside County, courtesy of Peter Sidoruk.
When the Eumorpha achemon caterpillars first hatch from almost globular dark green eggs (yellow somewhat just before hatching), the anal horn is dark and as long as the body, ending in two setae. At its base is a red brown patch extending part way onto the anal shield.
Egg incubation can be as few as six days, and eggs are deposited singly. The hatchling larvae have large pale green heads and yellow green bodies, feet and legs.
Larvae can shed skins and move into an identical looking second instar, except the heads are now in better proportion to the body (i.e., don't seem so large) and yellowish-white subdorsal lines and tiny dots are present.
In warm conditions larvae can molt again in as few as three or four days. The six-eight irregular (almost segmented) oblique lines, diagnostic of E. achemon, appear in the third instar.
The anal horn now angles away from the head instead of over the back.
Immature larvae have the characteristic horn-like tail which drops off (i.e., does not develop) after the fourth instar. Feeding lasts for three to four weeks and full grown larvae leave the host to pupate in undeground burrows.
Image courtesy of Chris Conlan.
During the second generation, larvae frequently become quite numerous and do considerable damage to grapevines.
Visit beautiful images of a Eumorpha achemon final instar larva, Texas panhandle, July 20, 2010, courtesy of Wallace B. and GayAnn Thompson.
Visit Eumorpha achemon fourth instar, Windham Centre, Norfolk County, Ontario, Canada, July 27, 2011, Lynda Amorim
Visit Eumorpha achemon, larva, Ozaukee County, Wisconsin, Kate Redmond
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