This site has been created by
Bill Oehlke at firstname.lastname@example.org
Comments, suggestions and/or additional information are welcomed by Bill.
Family: Sphingidae, Latreille, 1802
copyright C. Odenkirk
Kern Primrose Sphinx, Carrizo Plain, San Luis Obispo County,
courtesy of Paul Johnson, late January 2005. This is a protected species.
See an image of a sleeping male courtesy of Paul Johnson.For additional information see Tuskes, P.M. and J.F. Emmel. 1981. The Life History and Behavior of Euproserpinus euterpe (Sphingidae). J. Lep Soc. 35(1) pp 27-33.
The upperside of the forewing is brown with black transverse lines throughout. The upperside of the hindwing is white with a black outer margin and black at the base.
E. euterpe is distinguished by the "labial palpus that is mixed pale and dark gray, not bordered dorsally with a distinct black line; middle portion of the forewing with numerous, transverse lines and dark gray pattern.
The image of the live moth to the right, March 7, 2004, is thought to be either E. euterpe or possibly an unidentified Euproserpinus species from southern California.
The same moth, below, courtesy of Paul Johnson, has been confirmed as E. euterpe.
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.
I do not know the origin of "Euproserpinus", but the species name "euterpe" comes from the Greek muse of music, Euterpe the "Giver of Pleasure", who is represented with a flute. She bore, by the river Strymon, Rhesus who was slain at Troy.
EGGS, LARVAE AND PUPAE:
Females deposit eggs singly or in pairs on the underside of host leaves. Young caterpillars eat flowers, while older caterpillars eat flowers and new leaves. Larvae feed on Camissonia contorta epilobioides in the primrose family (Onagraceae).
Image of larva on Camissonia courtesy of Paul G. Johnson II.
This larva is believed to be that of Euproserpinus euterpe.
The next two images below are also thought to be Euproserpinus euterpe, taken April 2, 2004 by Paul Johnson. The larva is in an early instar, probably late second or early third, being about 10mm long.
Jennifer writes, "First weekend of April, I hit the road in search of Euproserpinus phaeton mojave (either adult, caterpillar, or ova). My trip would end as far north as Los Angeles County. In one region of L.A. county, I sampled from 5 different localities (roadside, washes, hillside) and looking under every Oenothera (Primrose) leaf I could for ova. The problem is that Euproserpinus and Hyles ova are almost identical and both moths post ova under the leaf. With each tiny green egg I found, my only option was to take it home and wait to see what emerges.
"I brought the ova home and set them up in cups labeled with locality markers. Of the estimate 150 ova from L.A. County, 149 were Hyles and only one would turn out to be Euproserpinus.
"Being that the ovum is from L.A. County, and based on prior research, the species would have to be mojave, or nominate, and not euterpe. However, this caterpillar is rather colorful. Comparing my photos of this cat with Paul Johnson’s photos at Bill Oehlke’s site, it looks like euterpe. For those familiar with seeing phaeton and euterpe caterpillars in the field, please have a look at my shots and tell me what you think. Regardless of what species, I was sad to see the conditions of the habitat - there was trash piles everywhere and it's also a semi-motocross track."
I think Jennifer's images from Los Angeles County, California, are probably nominate phaeton, or just a normal variation in colour. They could also be
Euproserpinus euterpe, representing a slight extension of the published reports for this species. The possibility of naturally occuring hybrids should not be ruled out.
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