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LEPIDOPTERA: Tobacco Hornworm/Carolina Sphinx
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This page shows the life cycle of the Manduca sexta Sphinx moth, from egg to caterpillar to moth. Also see this special page on the tachinid fly, Winthemia manducae - a parasite of hornworms.


COMMON NAME: Datura, Jimson Weed
Class:Magnoliopsida (of Phylum Magnoliophyta)
Order:Solanales
Family:Solanaceae
Sub-family:.
Genus:Datura
Species:.
Date:8/10/2003
Location:Ramsey Canyon, Cochise Co., AZ
datura plant - host for caterpillars
Jimson Weed (Datura), a common plant in S. Arizona in the warmer months, is a favored
host plant for the caterpillar as its toxins can be used as a defense from parasites,
a tradeoff of nutrition vs. defense. But the caterpillar can eat large quantities
fast and the plant grows big leaves fast.

COMMON NAME: Tobacco hornworm egg with wasp or fly on Datura leaf
Class:Insecta
Order:Lepidoptera
Family:Sphingidae
Sub-family:.
Genus:Manduca
Species:Manduca sexta
Date:8/10/2003
Location:Sierra Vista, Cochise Co., AZ
m. sexta egg and parasite
Comment:

COMMON NAME: Tobacco hornworm hatchling (1st instar). Note long, black tail
Class:Insecta
Order:Lepidoptera
Family:Sphingidae
Sub-family:.
Genus:Manduca
Species:Manduca sexta
Date:8/20/2003
Location:Sierra Vista, Cochise Co., AZ
hatchling
Comment:

COMMON NAME: Tobacco hornworm (2nd instar)
Class:Insecta
Order:Lepidoptera
Family:Sphingidae
Sub-family:.
Genus:Manduca
Species:Manduca sexta
Date:8/24/2003
Location:Sierra Vista, Cochise Co., AZ
stage 2 hornworm
Recently molted, old tail and head still visible

COMMON NAME: Tobacco hornworm (3rd instar)
Class:Insecta
Order:Lepidoptera
Family:Sphingidae
Sub-family:.
Genus:Manduca
Species:Manduca sexta
Date:8/28/2003
Location:Sierra Vista, Cochise Co., AZ
stage 3 hornworm
Comment: White stripes becoming visible

COMMON NAME: Tobacco hornworm (4th instar)
Class:Insecta
Order:Lepidoptera
Family:Sphingidae
Sub-family:.
Genus:Manduca
Species:Manduca sexta
Date:8/31/2003
Location:Sierra Vista, Cochise Co., AZ
stage 4 hornworm
Recently molted, old head capsule visible under new head

COMMON NAME: Tobacco hornworm (5th instar)
Class:Insecta
Order:Lepidoptera
Family:Sphingidae
Sub-family:.
Genus:Manduca
Species:Manduca sexta
Date:9/6/2003
Location:Sierra Vista, Cochise Co., AZ
stage 5 hornworm
Comment:

COMMON NAME: Tobacco hornworm (5th instar), nearing pupation
Class:Insecta
Order:Lepidoptera
Family:Sphingidae
Sub-family:.
Genus:Manduca
Species:Manduca sexta
Date:9/21/2003
Location:Sierra Vista, Cochise Co., AZ
stage 5 hornworm
Note the pulsing dorsal hearts (dark spots at top of each segment)

COMMON NAME: Tobacco hornworm (5th instar), dead
Class:Insecta
Order:Lepidoptera
Family:Sphingidae
Sub-family:.
Genus:Manduca
Species:Manduca sexta
Date:9/23/2003
Location:Sierra Vista, Cochise Co., AZ
dead caterpillar
Comment: Pupation unsuccessful.

COMMON NAME: Tobacco hornworm pupas
Class:Insecta
Order:Lepidoptera
Family:Sphingidae
Sub-family:.
Genus:Manduca
Species:Manduca sexta
Date:9/8/2003
Location:Sierra Vista, Cochise Co., AZ
pupas
Tails on left, heads on right and wings are forming underneath the right sides

COMMON NAME: Tobacco Hawkmoth just emerged from pupa shell
Class:Insecta
Order:Lepidoptera
Family:Sphingidae
Sub-family:.
Genus:Manduca
Species:Manduca sexta
Date:9/18/2003
Location:Sierra Vista, Cochise Co., AZ
newly emerged moth
Note the six ("sexta") pairs of orange spots on sides of abdomen

COMMON NAME: Tobacco Hawkmoth just emerged from pupa shell
Class:Insecta
Order:Lepidoptera
Family:Sphingidae
Sub-family:.
Genus:Manduca
Species:Manduca sexta
Date:9/18/2003
Location:Sierra Vista, Cochise Co., AZ
new moth
Wings are starting to inflate

COMMON NAME: Tobacco Hawkmoth just emerged from pupa shell
Class:Insecta
Order:Lepidoptera
Family:Sphingidae
Sub-family:.
Genus:Manduca
Species:Manduca sexta
Date:9/18/2003
Location:Sierra Vista, Cochise Co., AZ
moth - wings inflating
Wings are filling out

COMMON NAME: Tobacco Hawkmoth just emerged from pupa shell
Class:Insecta
Order:Lepidoptera
Family:Sphingidae
Sub-family:.
Genus:Manduca
Species:Manduca sexta
Date:9/18/2003
Location:Sierra Vista, Cochise Co., AZ
moth
Wings almost ready

COMMON NAME: Tobacco Hawkmoth just emerged from pupa shell
Class:Insecta
Order:Lepidoptera
Family:Sphingidae
Sub-family:.
Genus:Manduca
Species:Manduca sexta
Date:9/18/2003
Location:Sierra Vista, Cochise Co., AZ
moth
Wings in final shape and starting to harden

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