Agrius cingulatus (pink-spotted hawkmoth)
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IdentityTop of page
Preferred Scientific Name
- Agrius cingulatus Fabricius
Preferred Common Name
- pink-spotted hawkmoth
Other Scientific Names
- Herse cingulata Fabricius
- Protoparce cingulata Fabricius
- Sphinx affinis Goeze
- Sphinx cingulatus Farbicius
- Sphinx druraei Donovan
- Sphinx pungens Eschscholtz
International Common Names
- English: sweet potato hornworm; sweet potato sphinx moth; sweetpotato, hornworm
- Spanish: gusano de la hoja de la batata
- French: chenille des feuilles de la patate
- HERSCI (Herse cingulata)
Taxonomic TreeTop of page
- Domain: Eukaryota
- Kingdom: Metazoa
- Phylum: Arthropoda
- Subphylum: Uniramia
- Class: Insecta
- Order: Lepidoptera
- Family: Sphingidae
- Genus: Agrius
- Species: Agrius cingulatus
DescriptionTop of page
The egg is very similar to Agrius convolvuli.
A full-fed larva is 90-100 mm long. It is polymorphic: usually green, brown or yellow. It is very similar to the larva of A. convolvuli, but has never been found in Europe.
The pupa is 55-60 mm long. It is very like that of A. convolvuli, but with the proboscis reaching half-way down the wings before reflexing under and ending in a 'bulb' which touches the case near the head.
Adults have a grey-brown body with pink bands. The abdomen tapers to a point. The hindwings are grey with black bands and pink at the base. Wingspan 90-120 mm. A. cingulatus differs from A. convolvuli in having bright pink abdominal 'ribs', as opposed to the reddish pink of A. convolvuli, and pink at the base of the hindwing. In f. decolora, the 'pink ribs' are pale pinkish wite, almost white.
DistributionTop of page
A. cingulatus occurs in the tropics and suptropics of the New World, and in the Galapagos and Hawaiian Islands. As a migrant, it occurs north to Canada, south to Patagonia and the Falkland Islands and, very occasionally, to western Europe. A. cingulatus has recently established itself in the Cape Verde Islands west of Senegal, West Africa (Bauer and Traub, 1980), adults having arrived, presumably, from Brazil.
A. cingulatus occurs within the western Palaearctic region as an autumn vagrant, though the frequency is not known due to its confusion with A. convolvuli. Specimens wave been found in England, UK (Barrett, 1895) and on ships off the French coast. In September 2002, a male was captured at light in the region of Serpa, Baixo Alentejo, Portugal, the first European mainland record for this species (Marabuto, 2006).
There are also reports that this species has established breeding populations on the west coast of Africa (Senegal, Cote d'Ivoire) (Ballesteros-Mejia et al., 2011).
Distribution TableTop of page
The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.Last updated: 10 Jan 2020
|Continent/Country/Region||Distribution||Last Reported||Origin||First Reported||Invasive||Reference||Notes|
|Cabo Verde||Present||Bauer and Traub (1980)|
|Antigua and Barbuda||Present||Schotman (1989)|
|Costa Rica||Present||Schotman (1989)|
|Dominican Republic||Present||Schotman (1989)|
|Puerto Rico||Present||Schotman (1989)|
|Saint Lucia||Present||Schotman (1989)|
|Trinidad and Tobago||Present||Schotman (1989)|
|United States||Present||CABI Data Mining (Undated)|
Habitat ListTop of page
Host Plants and Other Plants AffectedTop of page
List of Symptoms/SignsTop of page
|Leaves / honeydew or sooty mould|
Biology and EcologyTop of page
A. cingulatus is an avid visitor to flowers and a strong migrant.
Natural enemiesTop of page
ReferencesTop of page
Ballesteros-Mejia L; Kitching IJ; Beck J, 2011. Projecting the potential invasion of the Pink Spotted Hawkmoth (Agrius cingulata) across Africa. International Journal of Pest Management, 57(2):153-159. http://journalsonline.tandf.co.uk/link.asp?id=100665
Barrett CG, 1895. The Lepidoptera of the British Islands (illus. edn). Vol. 2. London, UK: L. Reeve and Co.
Bauer E; Traub B, 1980. [English title not available]. (Zur Macrolepidopterenfauna der Kapverdischen Inseln. Teil 1. Sphingidae und Arctiidae.) Ent. Z., Frankf. a. M, 90:244-248.
Marabuto E, 2006. The occurrence of a neotropical hawkmoth in southern Portugal: Agrius cingulatus (Fabricius, 1775) (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae). Boletin de la Sociedad Entomologica Aragonesa, 38:163-166.
Bauer E, Traub B, 1980. [English title not available]. (Zur Macrolepidopterenfauna der Kapverdischen Inseln. Teil 1. Sphingidae und Arctiidae). In: Ent. Z., Frankf. a. M, 90 244-248.
CABI Data Mining, Undated. CAB Abstracts Data Mining.,
CABI, Undated. CABI Compendium: Status as determined by CABI editor. Wallingford, UK: CABI
Distribution MapsTop of page
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