Sphinx ligustri

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.

Privet hawk moth
Scientific classification edit
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


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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