Paonias astylus, the Huckleberry sphinx

Paonias astylus
(Drury, 1773) Sphinx astylus

Paonias astylus Patrick Coin, used with permission,
Durham County, North Carolina, July 21, 2004

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TAXONOMY:

Family: Sphingidae, Latreille, 1802
Subfamily: Sphinginae, Latreille, 1802
Tribe: Smerinthini, Grote & Robinson, 1865
Genus: Paonias Hubner, [1819] was Sphinx........
Species: astylus (Drury, 1773)

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DISTRIBUTION:

Paonias astylus, the Huckleberry Sphinx (wingspan 55-65 mm), ranges from Maine and Massachusetts south to Florida, west to Missouri and Mississippi. Amy Landrum reports Paonias astylus in Jackson County in south central Ohio.

Typical of species in the tribe Smerinthini, adult astylus do not feed.

Paonias astylus Patrick Coin, used with permission,
Durham County, North Carolina, July 21, 2004

FLIGHT TIMES:

Paonias astylus flies from March-September in Florida and from April-September in Louisiana. There is one brood northward from June-August.

Paonias astylus, Sussex County, New Jersey, July 2007, courtesy of Joe Garris.

ECLOSION:

Paonias astylus moths emerge from pupae formed in small subterranean chambers.

Paonias astylus male, Essex County, Massachusetts, June 9, 2009,
courtesy of Susan Oleszko-Szuts, spotted by Jason Lacroix.

Paonias astylus male, Essex County, Massachusetts, June 9, 2009,
courtesy of Susan Oleszko-Szuts, spotted by Jason Lacroix.

SCENTING AND MATING:

Huckleberry Sphinx females call in the night flying males with an airbourne pheromone emitted from a gland at the posterior of the abdomen.

Both sexes rest with wings parallel to the resting surface, with the upper lobes of the hindwings protruding above the forewings. The lower abdomen of the male arcs upward toward the head, while the abdomen of the female hangs strait down on a vertical surface.

Paonias astylus male, Essex County, Massachusetts, June 9, 2009,
courtesy of Susan Oleszko-Szuts, spotted by Jason Lacroix.

EGGS, LARVAE, PUPAE:

Pale green eggs are deposited on hostplants foliage and this sphinx will oviposit readily on the insides of brown paper sandwich or grocery bags.

Blueberry and huckleberry (Vaccinium), cherries (Prunus) and willows (Salix) are the favorites as larval foodplants.

Paonias astylus fifth instar, Groton, Groton, Middlesex county, Massachusetts,
September 17, 2008, courtesy of Tom Murray.

Paonias astylus fifth instar, Groton, nearby Middlesex county, Massachusetts,
September 17, 2008, courtesy of Tom Murray.

Return to U. S. A. Table
Return to Main Sphingidae Index
Return to Smerinthini Tribe

Enjoy some of nature's wonderments, giant silk moth cocoons. These cocoons are for sale winter and fall. Beautiful Saturniidae moths will emerge the following spring and summer. Read Actias luna rearing article. Additional online help available.

Eggs of many North American species are offered during the spring and summer. Occasionally summer Actias luna and summer Antheraea polyphemus cocoons are available. Shipping to US destinations is done from with in the US.

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