Updated as per The Hawk Moths of the North America, 2007, James P. Tuttle (Sphinx to Lintneria); April 2009
Updated as per CATE; April 2009
Updated as per personal communication with Sheri L. Williamson (Chihuahua, Mexico); September 4, 2011

Lintneria separatus
(Neumoegen, 1885) Sphinx

Lintneria separatus courtesy of Bruce Walsh.

This site has been created by Bill Oehlke at oehlkew@islandtelecom.com
Comments, suggestions and/or additional information are welcomed by Bill.


Family: Sphingidae, Latreille, 1802
Subfamily: Sphinginae, Latreille, 1802
Tribe: Sphingini, Latreille, 1802
Genus: Lintneria Butler, 1876 ...........
Species: separatus (Neumoegen, 1885)


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The Separated Sphinx, Lintneria separatus (Wing span: 4 9/16 - 4 15/16 inches (110 - 125 mm)), flies in
Colorado south
through New Mexico and
Arizona to
Mexico: Veracruz and Hidalgo.

Sheri L. Williamson documents their presence at Conjunto Mogollón archeological site, near Madera, Chihuahua, Mexico September 6, 2006, with a larval image.

Until very recently (Tuttle: The Hawk Moths of North America, 2007), this moth was classified as Sphinx separatus.

The upperside of the forewing is dark gray with black and light gray wavy lines. The upperside of the hindwing is black with a brownish gray border and two white bands.

Lintneria separatus, 110mm, Ken Osborne, from Moth Photographers Group
on my home computer only.

"Relatively large (fwl 47-55 mm,) with ground colour dark grey, sometimes confused with Lintneria eremitoides, but more similar to Lintneria istar, Lintneria geminus and Lintneria lugens.

"Recognisable by the collar being conspicuously marked with a yellow marginal spot on each side, these spots being vestigial or absent in Lintneria geminus and Lintneria lugens.

"Forewing upperside with prominent; transverse wavy lines; lacking the pale area with dark distal band that runs from the base to outer margin behind the apex in Lintneria istar.

"Male antennae very stout." CATE

Lintneria separatus, Jct FR 49 and FR 812, Patagonia Mtns., Santa Cruz Co., AZ,
August 7, 2010, 5100ft, courtesy of Evan Rand.

Two pairs of relatively close black lines, running from the inner margin diagonally toward the costa just outside the cell, highlight a slightly wider, lighter channel, which is interrupted by some dark dashes near the cell.


Lintneria separatus adults probably fly as a single brood from late June to early August.


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. Adults nectar at a variety of flowers.


Larval hosts are unknown, but tomato may be one (probably not, September 2007). Salvia greggii has been confirmed by Robert A. Behrstock.

Robert sent me these spectacular images, September 29, 2007, of a larva he encountered on Salvia greggii in his garden in Cochise County, Arizona.

Jim Tuttle did the identification and offers the following comments:

"Great shots. All of the penultimate instars of both Lintneria (Sphinx) istar and Lintneria (Sphinx) separatus that I have reared in the past have been mundane green. Given that the larva is molting, I believe that the orange and black is actually the 5th instar "showing" through. It is L. separatus. I suspect that if they had seen the larva one day earlier, it would have just been greenish."

Lintneria separatus, fourth instar molting, Cochise County, Arizona,
September 29, 2007, courtesy of Robert A. Behrstock, id by James A. Tuttle.

Lintneria separatus, fourth instar molting (head), Cochise County, Arizona,
September 29, 2007, courtesy of Robert A. Behrstock, id by James A. Tuttle.

The resemblance of the head/thorax region, with its dark horn, to the anal region, with its dark horn, is remarkable.

Visit beautiful image of Lintneria separatus fourth instar, Portal, Cochise County, Arizona, September 7, 2010, courtesy of Barbara Miller.

Please visit my special request for images of Lintneria species larvae at Lintneria larvae, and help if you can.

It is anticipated that the Lintneria larvae will most often be encountered on Lamiaceae: Salvia (Sage), Mentha (Mints), Monarda (Beebalm) and Hyptis (Bushmints); Verbenaceae: Verbena and Lantana camara (shrub verbenas or lantanas).

Although they may be encountered feeding during daylight hours, one is even more likely to discover them feeding in the evening or after dark.

Two of the greatest clues for discovering larvae are stripped foliage and droppings beneath the plant. You might be quite surprised at what will turn up in the evening or after dark in a flashlight assisted search.

It is believed that all "Lintneria larvae will exhibit "a fleshy thoracic dorsal "horn" in the first 4 instars (unique in the Sphingidae of the world to my knowledge) which is replaced by a thoracic dorsal "hump" with a large black patch in the 5th instar." J.A. Tuttle.

Lintneria separatus fifth instar, Conjuncto Mogollon Archaeological Site,
near Madera, Chihuahua, Mexico, September 6, 2006,
courtesy of Sheri L. Williamson, as posted on Bug Guide.

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