Protambulyx carteri

Protambulyx carteri
Rothschild & Jordan, 1903

Protambulyx carteri male courtesy of Paul Opler.

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Family: Sphingidae, Latreille, 1802
Subfamily: Sphinginae, Latreille, 1802
Tribe: Smerinthini, Grote & Robinson, 1865
Genus: Protambulyx Rothschild & Jordan, 1903 ...........
Species: carteri Rothschild & Jordan, 1903


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Carter's sphinx, Protambulyx carteri (Wing span: 3 3/4 - 4 5/16 inches (9.5 - 11 cm)), flies in tropical and subtropical lowlands from Tropical America north through the West Indies to central Florida.

The specimen type locality is Nassau, Bahamas.

The forewing is indented at the inner margin and the upperside is yellow to orangish brown with faint markings and no dark submarginal line. The upperside of the hindwing is yellow to orange with no markings. The underside is unmarked with no submarginal line, and has a darker outer margin.

This moth has been equated with P. strigilis, James P. Tuttle, 2007, based on rearing results. Both, the more common "carteri" form and the less common "strigilis" form have developed from eggs from "carteri" form.


Protambulyx carteri adults fly throughout the year in south Florida and the tropics. Adults nectar from flowers, including jasmine and Asystasia gangetica beginning at dusk.


Pupae probably wiggle to surface from subterranean chambers just prior to eclosion.


Females call in the males with a pheromone released from a gland at the tip of the abdomen.


Larvae feed on plants in the cashew family (Anacardiaceae), including Brazilian pepper. Larvae have also been seen on Poisonwood (Metopium toxiferum).

Moths may eclose within fourteen days of pupation.

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