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Species Page - Hyles euphorbiae
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scientific name    Hyles euphorbiae    

common name     Spurge Hawk Moth

Pastures, grasslands and riparian areas infested with Leafy Spurge.

Adults on the wing late June - July.

A large (6.5 -9.0 cm. wingspan) narrow-winged large-bodied moth. The forewing is light brown with darker brown markings, the paler brown areas speckled with black. Two dark patches extent inward from the costa, and the outer third of the forewing is sharply divided from the rest of the forewing, a dark brown shading outward to light brown. The hindwing is black with a wide rose-pink median band and a narrower terminal band. Very similar to the closely related Bedstraw Hawk-moth (H. gallii), which differs in having a sharply defined black, cream and grey forewing pattern without any speckling in the pale areas, and with the entire costa broadly black. The White-lined Sphinx (H. lineata) has the forewing veins all marked in white.

life history
Like other members of the genus, adults are on the wing mainly in the late evening and after dark, and come to light. The Spurge Hawk Moth was introduced at several sites in southern Alberta and Saskatchewan in the late 1960's as a possible biological control for Leafy Spurge. They are now established at a number of sites in southern Alberta (i.e. Medicine Hat and Lethbridge). The larva is a large conspicuous black, red and yellow insect. Its effectiveness as a biological control agent is apparently a very minor one.

Introduced species, no concerns.

diet info
Members of the Spurge family (Euphorbiae); in Alberta, introduced as a biological control agent for Leafy Spurge (Euphorbia escula L.).

Central and southern Europe. Introduced into western Canada. In Alberta it has apparently become established at a number of locations in the grasslands in the southern part of the province.

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Comments (6)Add New Comment

Mabel (2009-08-04)
show caterpillar

Gary Anweiler (2009-08-19)
It has become more widespread in Alberta, with recent breeding records north to the edge of the boreal region at Edmonton

Lynn (2012-07-25)
Saw my first caterpillar today near Fort Whoop Up, Lethbridge. Late instar, hiking across the road. Took its photo and then helped it across.

Lyle Smith (2012-09-20)
Had one pay me a visit right here in Edmonton last night.September,19,2012. at about 8pm.Weird bug thought it was a cross between a moth, and a hummingbird it was grey, and had black stripes.Got lots of pictures though.

Mark Hay (2013-09-01)
I saw 3 different ones of these today on a walk near Deer Valley, SK.
Caught my eye, took some pics. Beautiful caterpillars.

Dave (2013-10-03)
Saw one in Edmonton, Alberta today October 3rd, 2013 while walking my dog. Only 7 degrees Celsius temperature outside this afternoon. Cororful caterpillar!

Comments are published according to our submission guidelines. The EH Strickland Entomological Museum does not necessarily endorse the views expressed.

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Related Species Info
Display Hierarchy
References (2)
Specimen Info
There are 11 specimens of this species in the online database
Map Distribution
Adult Seasonal Distributioncreate a collection histogram with specimens
Specimen List (11)
Related Links
Moth Photographers Group


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