Proserpinus lucidus

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Pacific green sphinx
Arctonotus lucidus sjh.jpg
Proserpinus lucidus, adult
Proserpinus lucidus.jpg
Live adult attracted to a UV light
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Clade: Euarthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Sphingidae
Genus: Proserpinus
Species: P. lucidus
Binomial name
Proserpinus lucidus
(Boisduval, 1852)[1][2]
  • Arctonotus lucidus Boisduval, 1852
  • Arctonotus lucidus clarki Barnes & Benjamin, 1923

Proserpinus lucidus (Pacific Green Sphinx or Bear Sphinx[3]) is a moth of the family Sphingidae. It lives on the Pacific coast of the United States in Washington, Idaho, Oregon, California.[3]

The green forewings are 22–23 mm long,[3] with pink/purple transverse bands outlined in yellow.[4] Adults fly in one generation in winter, from December to April, during which they do not eat.[5] They are attracted to lights, but normally females will remain stationary and emit a pheromone to attract males.[5]

The larvae feed on Clarkia breweri and Clarkia modesta[6] and probably Clarkia purpurea, Camissonia bistorta and Camissonia strigulosa[citation needed]. In later instars they lose the horn that characterizes most sphinx moth caterpillars, and instead have a "bullseye" spot.[4] The caterpillars can reach 5 cm.[5]

The caterpillars begin to pupate four to five weeks after hatching. They will pupate under leaf litter or burrow up to 16.5 cm down into the root mass of their host plants, and wait until next winter to eclose.[5]


  1. ^ Boisduval, J.-A. (25 February 1852). "Lepidoptères de la Californie". Annales de la Société Entomologique de France. 10 (2): 319. 
  2. ^ "CATE Creating a Taxonomic eScience - Sphingidae". Archived from the original on 2012-11-05. Retrieved 2011-10-25. 
  3. ^ a b c Powell, Jerry A.; Opler, Paul A. (2009). Moths of Western North America (1 ed.). Berkeley: University of California Press. p. 245. ISBN 978-0-520-25197-7. 
  4. ^ a b "Species Proserpinus lucidus - Pacific Green Sphinx Moth - Hodges#7872". BugGuide. Retrieved 2 March 2018. 
  5. ^ a b c d Rubinoff, D. (2001). "Observations of adult and larval behavior in the winter sphingid, Arctonotus lucidus (Sphingidae)". Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society. 55 (2): 78–79. Retrieved 2 March 2018. 
  6. ^ Osborne, Kendall H. (22 June 2000). "Additional notes of Proserpinus clarkiae and Arctonotus lucidus (Sphingidae) life histories from the Pacific Coast of North America". Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society. 53 (4): 170–172. 

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