Nebraska Academy of Sciences


Date of this Version



1980. Transactions of the Nebraska Academy of Sciences, VIIl:31-34. Copyright © 1980 Forwood and McCarty


Certain aspects of the life cycle of the spurge hawkmoth, Hyles euphorbiae L. (Sphingidae), were studied to evaluate it as a possible biological control agent for leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula L.) in Nebraska. There are five phases in the life cycle of this insect: egg, larva, prepupa, pupa, and adult. It is a foliage-feeding insect and consumes about 18 g fresh weight of leafy spurge during its larval life. About 80% of the leafy spurge consumption is by the fifth instar. A generation may be completed in a period of 42 to 72 days. The spurge hawkmoth overwinters as a pupa, emerges as the adult in spring, and begins egg laying about the time leafy spurge begins to bloom.

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