Sphinx ligustri

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Privet hawk moth
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Sphingidae
Genus: Sphinx
S. ligustri
Binomial name
Sphinx ligustri
  • Sphinx chishimensis Matsumura, 1929
  • Sphinx spiraeae Esper, 1800
  • Sphinx ligustri albescens Tutt, 1904
  • Sphinx ligustri amurensis Oberthür, 1886
  • Sphinx ligustri brunnea Tutt, 1904
  • Sphinx ligustri brunnescens (Lempke, 1959)
  • Sphinx ligustri cingulata (Lempke, 1964)
  • Sphinx ligustri eichleri Eitschberger, Danner & Surholt, 1992
  • Sphinx ligustri fraxini Dannehl, 1925
  • Sphinx ligustri grisea (Closs, 1917)
  • Sphinx ligustri incerta Tutt, 1904
  • Sphinx ligustri intermedia Tutt, 1904
  • Sphinx ligustri lutescens Tutt, 1904
  • Sphinx ligustri nisseni Rothschild & Jordan, 1916
  • Sphinx ligustri obscura Tutt, 1904
  • Sphinx ligustri pallida Tutt, 1904
  • Sphinx ligustri perversa Gehlen, 1928
  • Sphinx ligustri postrufescens (Lempke, 1959)
  • Sphinx ligustri rosacea Rebel, 1910
  • Sphinx ligustri seydeli Debauche, 1934
  • Sphinx ligustri subpallida Tutt, 1904
  • Sphinx ligustri typica Tutt, 1904
  • Sphinx ligustri unifasciata Gschwandner, 1912
  • Sphinx ligustri weryi Rungs, 1977
  • Sphinx ligustri zolotuhini Eitschberger & Lukhtanov, 1996

Sphinx ligustri, the privet hawk moth, is a moth found in most of the Palearctic realm. The species was first described by Carl Linnaeus in his 1758 10th edition of Systema Naturae.


It has a 12 centimetres (4.7 in) wingspan (generally deflexed at rest), and is found in urban areas, forests and woodlands.

The male privet hawk moth can make a hissing sound, if disturbed, by rubbing together a set of scales and spines at the end of its abdomen.

The larvae are usually found between July and August: and bury themselves in the earth when preparing to become a pupa. They then fly in the following June.[2]


As its name describes, the caterpillars feed on privets, as well as ash trees, lilacs, jasmine, and a number of other plants.



  1. ^ "CATE Creating a Taxonomic eScience - Sphingidae". Cate-sphingidae.org. Archived from the original on 2012-11-26. Retrieved 2011-11-01.
  2. ^ Donovan, Edward (1792). The Natural History of British Insects: Explaining Them in Their Several States, With the Periods of Their Transformations, Their Food, Economy, &c. Together With the History of Such Minute Insects As Require Investigation by the Microscope: The Whole Illustrated by Coloured Figures, Designed and Executed from Living Specimens. London. p. 79.

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