7846.1 - Eupyrrhoglossum sagra,
Sagra Sphinx Moth
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Freshly emerged adult
Freshly emerged adult
General Species Information
Host Plant: Rough Velvetseed
Historical Range: Southernmost Florida and Cuba
Our Experience with this Species: This is an uncommon species at artificial lights on Key Largo. It has been recorded in Jan, Feb, Mar, May, Jun, Jul, Nov, Dec. The southernmost location we have encountered this species is at mile marker 88 on a gas station wall
Notes: This was the species that was the beginning of the inspiration to investigate moths of the Florida Keys. in 1998, my dear friend Leroy Koehn took me on a road trip to Key Largo looking for butterflies and moths. It was on this trip that he found a single specimen on the Publix shopping center walls at mile marker 101 on Key Largo. That started a frenzy of day trips to the Keys looking at every gas station and shopping center that I could find that had bright lights on throughout the night. Over the course of the next two years, I probably found three individuals over 30 trips to the Keys.
Upon being permitted to put lights out in Crocodile Lake NWLR, I thought for sure that we would encounter this species a bit more regularly however over the next several years only 3 more showed up. By far the best way to encounter this species is by looking for adults as they nectar at flowers during twilight hours, both in the morning and evening. This species has crepuscular habits and can be observed buzzing around flowers. Adults fly with amazing speed and strength and only show up for a few seconds. When watching this species at flowers, don't blink! If you do, you will likely miss it! This behavior is very similar to the way a hummingbird flies.
On Key Largo in late December, early January, there is a weedy vine called "Christmas Flower" - Eupatorium odoratum that blooms. In one evening, we saw 6 individuals on one plant taking nectar.
This shows that determining a species abundance, solely using their appearance at UV lights is not an effective scientific method of accuracy in some cases. I observed the same number of individuals at one flowering plant at one time as had in over 60 evenings of surveying at light traps.
K. Largo Marath. Ba. Hond B.P.K. No Name Sck. Isd. K. West
Colored box indicates adult of this species has been confirmed on that island
Adult Flight Chart
Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
Colored box indicates adult of this species has been confirmed in that month