Hyles gallii - (Rottemburg, 1775)
Galium Sphinx
Other English Common Names: Bedstraw Hawkmoth
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Hyles gallii (TSN 188637)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.109392
Element Code: IILEX18020
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Invertebrates - Insects - Butterflies and Moths - Sphinx Moths
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Mandibulata Insecta Lepidoptera Sphingidae Hyles
Genus Size: D - Medium to large genus (21+ species)
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Hodges, R.W. et al., eds. 1983. Check List of the Lepidoptera of America North of Mexico. E.W. Classey Limited and The Wedge Entomological Research Foundation, London. 284 pp.
Concept Reference Code: B83HOD01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Hyles gallii
Taxonomic Comments: This species is also known as Bedstraw Hawkmoth.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 12Jan2015
Global Status Last Changed: 07Sep2000
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Nation: United States
National Status: N4 (17Oct2000)
Nation: Canada
National Status: N5 (17Aug2017)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Alaska (SNR), Colorado (S3?), Connecticut (SNR), Delaware (SU), Idaho (S2), Illinois (SH), Indiana (SNR), Iowa (SNR), Maine (SNR), Massachusetts (SNR), Michigan (SNR), Minnesota (SNR), Missouri (SNR), Montana (SNR), Nebraska (SNR), New Hampshire (SNR), New Jersey (SNR), New York (SNR), North Dakota (SNR), Oregon (SNR), Pennsylvania (SNR), Rhode Island (SNR), South Dakota (SNR), Utah (SNR), Vermont (SNR), Washington (SNR), Wisconsin (SNR), Wyoming (SNR)
Canada Alberta (S4), British Columbia (SNR), Labrador (SNR), Manitoba (S5), New Brunswick (SU), Newfoundland Island (SNR), Northwest Territories (SU), Nova Scotia (SU), Nunavut (SU), Ontario (SU), Prince Edward Island (SU), Quebec (SNR), Saskatchewan (SU), Yukon Territory (SU)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: >2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: Hyles gallii was described from Germany and is native to a vast area of the northern Holarctic. In North America it probably occurs in most of Canada except the eastern arctic. It ranges from Newfoundland well into Alaska, south as a resident species to Pennsylvania and the Great Lakes region, Oregon, and in the mountains to Colorado. There have been rare collections or photographs farther south. At least from the BAMONA records it is not clear what the actual permanent distribution is in central Canada. It is widespread and apparently often common from the Maritimes to southern Ontario, and again in southern British Columbia to the Northwest Territories. Most records mapped from western Canada and Alaska are very recent, e.g. as recently as 2011-2014 from southern British Columbia and coastal Alaska (north to about Anchorage), also caterpillars found in the fall of 2013 at Fairbanks and in the far northern Northwest Territories. The discussion by Tuttle (2007) included numerous records from the 1990s in these general areas. There are also recent records from the Maritimes to Pennsylvania, and as recently as 2013 in New Jersey at the southern limit. The species has probably recently increased from Connecticut to Pennsylvania. As Tuttle discusses, most of the likely range in Canada is inaccessible and the species probably ranges across the virtually the entire boreal forest and taiga, north in the western arctic to the Arctic Ocean.

Number of Occurrences: > 300

Population Size: >1,000,000 individuals

Overall Threat Impact: Low

Short-term Trend: Decline of <30% to increase of 25%
Short-term Trend Comments: Records on recent range maps suggest it is possibly expanding northwest (Alaska, British Columbia) and at least becoming more common southeastward (New Jersey, Pennsylvania) in North America. The latter may reflect an increase in exotic Gallium species which the larvae are well-adapted to. No information for Europe but probably is declining there, as are many moths and pollinators in general.

Long-term Trend: Relatively Stable (<=10% change)

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Not intrinsically vulnerable

Environmental Specificity: Broad. Generalist or community with all key requirements common.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: (>2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)) Hyles gallii was described from Germany and is native to a vast area of the northern Holarctic. In North America it probably occurs in most of Canada except the eastern arctic. It ranges from Newfoundland well into Alaska, south as a resident species to Pennsylvania and the Great Lakes region, Oregon, and in the mountains to Colorado. There have been rare collections or photographs farther south. At least from the BAMONA records it is not clear what the actual permanent distribution is in central Canada. It is widespread and apparently often common from the Maritimes to southern Ontario, and again in southern British Columbia to the Northwest Territories. Most records mapped from western Canada and Alaska are very recent, e.g. as recently as 2011-2014 from southern British Columbia and coastal Alaska (north to about Anchorage), also caterpillars found in the fall of 2013 at Fairbanks and in the far northern Northwest Territories. The discussion by Tuttle (2007) included numerous records from the 1990s in these general areas. There are also recent records from the Maritimes to Pennsylvania, and as recently as 2013 in New Jersey at the southern limit. The species has probably recently increased from Connecticut to Pennsylvania. As Tuttle discusses, most of the likely range in Canada is inaccessible and the species probably ranges across the virtually the entire boreal forest and taiga, north in the western arctic to the Arctic Ocean.

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AK, CO, CT, DE, IA, ID, IL, IN, MA, ME, MI, MN, MO, MT, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OR, PA, RI, SD, UT, VT, WA, WI, WY
Canada AB, BC, LB, MB, NB, NF, NS, NT, NU, ON, PE, QC, SK, YT

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
CO Jackson (08057)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
10 North Platte Headwaters (10180001)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Habitat Type: Terrestrial
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Adult Food Habits: Nectarivore
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Pollinating Hawk Moths

Use Class: Not applicable
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Conceptually an occurrence would be a location with evidence of presence (or historical presence) that is large enough to have potential for continued presence and/or regular recurrence, that is generally where larvae occur. Minimally based on a specimen or diagnostic photograph of a larva or adult, or for some species even an expert sight record associated with suitable habitat. In practice most collection locations in a region where the species is resident may be considered as indicative of an occurrence nearby. These moths are apparently usually landscape level species, most of which do not form localized populations making occurrence definition difficult at best. Adults commonly move several kilometers to find food and the larger species could very easily move 100 km in a few nights. Even some smaller ones, Aellopos, do so. Thus occurrences for breeding areas should be based on regular presence of larvae, although not necessarily every year. In North America do not track late season occurrences of adults or larvae well north of their permanent range as occurrences, such as larvae of Agrius cingulatus in the fall on sweet potato in New Jersey or Virginia or any tropical species in Canada. Occurrences based on adult reseources probably would not be useful and would often be gardens.
Mapping Guidance: In the few cases where there is an obvious local habitat preference the occurrence boundaries would often be the same as for the associated plant community although an EO might consist of several discrete proximate patches. Similarly if the larval foodplant is strictly confined to a particular mappable habitat these can be mapped as discrete patches several to many of which can be combined as a plausible EO. In most cases though boundaries will be very difficult to define. Mapping individual plants as separate EOs would be unrealistic since it would take many plants to maintain a population. Note that even with MANDUCA BLACKBURNI whose primary native foodplant is now quite scarce, mapping these probably does not fully define the EO because larvae also feed on exotic Solanaceae. In the western USA habitats and thus occurrence boundaries will very often be defined by edaphic features or by plant communities limited by altitude. For example in arid regions FRAXINUS or VITIS feeders will be confined to riparian corridors usually in canyons and these easily mapped features can be used to define the EO.
Separation Barriers: In most cases potential barriers will be large and better treated as unsuitable habitats, but smaller brightly lit urban areas, large bodies of water with on-shore breezes, high peaks (especially those with night temperature below 10 C), or possibly habitats where night time temperatures oftren stay above 30 C; or (especially in Florida) places with frequent extensive mosquito spraying might be considered barriers. Local observations may occasionally suggest features which greatly curtail movement and if these are well under the separation distance in size they may be considered as barriers.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 10 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 20 km
Alternate Separation Procedure: Where EOs occupy islands in the ocean (e.g. off the coast of New England, USA; Hawaii) separate islands would generally be considered separate EOs if they are more than 1 kilometer from each other or from the mainland.
Separation Justification: These separation distances are arbitrary but seem reasonable considering the flight capabilities of these moths. For example D. Schweitzer has twice estimated SPHINX GORDIUS cruising along sand roads at around 40 kilometers per hour in New Jersey using an automobile speedometer. This is certainly not one of the fastest species of sphinx moths. this one though does recognize habitat boundaries (i.e. rarely enters forests) and some of the others do likewise. There are claims of faster speeds for a few. It is here assumed that most or all of them fly at 20-60 kilometers per hour or faster so all separation distances could be traversed less than half an hour. Larger distances are deemed somewhat imparctical at least if there is some need to define occurrences based on unsuitable intervening habitats. In eastern North America many species occur sparsely in forests, thickets and subrubia where their larvae feed on well distributed but not dominant, sometimes sparse, trees (often FRAXINUS), vines (mostly Vitaceae), shrubs, or even herbs. Adults lay hundreds of eggs usually singly or perhaps two or three on a plant and usually not many in a patch which implies they must cover many kilometers. There is no known documentation of individual movement distances, but some of these species rather commonly stray more than 500 to 1000 kilometers out of their normal ranges and obviously the ancestor(s) of MANDUCA BLACKBURNI colonized HAWAII from the Americas ranking these moths among the most mobile land animals on earth. It is quite unclear in many temperate areas whether related pest MANDUCA can even survive the winters or recolonize annually from hundreds of kilometers to the south. It is not at all unusual to observe or collect adults of many species (e.g some HEMARIS, HYLES, some MANDUCA) several kilometers out of habitat and likely that adults often move several kilometers per day looking for nectar or oviposition sites. Even the short lived non-feeding PACHSPHINX MODESTA and CERATOMIA AMYNTOR have shown up ten kilometers or more out of habitat in southern New Jersey (Schweitzer)--certainly failry sedentary species. At the other extreme a mass migration of the American Hyles lineata was documented widely in Great Britain in 1943.

With adequate search effort suitable habitat would almost always prove to support occupancy or frequent recurrence where it is within a few kilometers of known occupied habitat. However instances will occur where documentation of presence is limited and available proximate habitat vast. Likewise part of an occurrence (but not an entire C rank or better EO) could easily be unoccupied at times, e.g. certain months or years. Some species are very hard to document, such as SPHINX DRUPIFERARUM which is likely to be overlooked by standard collecting lights and does not come to sugar baits and at least in the Northeast generally turns up by accident.

Both distances are arbitrary, the unsuitable habitat distance is especially tentative since it is not at all known for most species if they respond to and tend to avoid habitat changes or simply cruise over large landscapes looking for mates and oviposition sites. On the other hand the separation distance within extensive suitable habitat is clearly conservative given that occurrences are populations of dozens to thousands or more of wide ranging individuals which probably live a couple of weeks and each of which can easily move 20 kilometers in an hour, so there is almost no chance that two collections only 20 kilometers apart in extensive tracts of habitat would really represent two separate occurrences.

Inferred Minimum Extent of Habitat Use (when actual extent is unknown): 5 km
Inferred Minimum Extent Justification: IE is really moot for such often low density landscape level moths that can easily move a kilometer in less than a minute. In the relatively few cases where edaphic or obvious habitat features clearly define the habitat one could reasonably consider any such patches within up to ten kilometers as part of the known EO but since this figure is probably impractical for an IE of all foodplant patches within two kilometers is arbitrarily suggested. Note USFWS designated critical habitat patches for MANDUCA BLACKBURNI up to 15,216 hectares and none under 100 hectares. Obviously functional occurrences for many continental species would be much larger. A conservative suggestion for inferred extent for a landscape level sphinx moth really would be all suitable habitat within a 5 km radius, but that may be impractical and many occurrences are much larger.
Date: 19Jun2001
Author: Schweitzer, Dale F.
Notes: These Specs were drafted mainly for higlhy mobile species with feeding aduts and relatively sparsely distributed foodplants. They may be inappropriate for species feeding on locally abundant plants such as Ericaceae, aspens, willows, or Myricaceae which may support denser populations that can persist in as little as a few hundred hectares or even less. Some of these are already assigned to other Specs groups but perhaps most SMERINTHINAE should have separate Specs. For a useful general review doubtless as applicable to temperate species as it is to tropical ones see the critical habitat proposal for MANDUCA BLACKBURNI (USFWS, 2002, e.g. p. 40640) and references therein.
Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 12Jan2015
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Schweitzer, D.F.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
Help
  • General Status 2015, Environment Canada. 2014. Manitoba moth species list and ranks as recommended by expert.

  • Grehan, John R. et al. 1995. Moths and Butterflies of Vermont (Lepidoptera): A Faunal Checklist. Agricultural Experiment Station, University of Vermont and Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation, State of Vermont. Miscellaneous Publication 116. Vermont Monitoring Cooperative Bulletin No. 1.

  • Hodges, R.W. et al., eds. 1983. Check List of the Lepidoptera of America North of Mexico. E.W. Classey Limited and The Wedge Entomological Research Foundation, London. 284 pp.

  • Lafontaine, J. D. and J.T. Troubridge. 1998. Moths and butterflies (Lepidoptera) in Smith, I.M., and G.G.E. Scudder, eds. Assessment of species diversity in the Montane Cordillera Ecozone. Burlington: Ecological Monitoring and Assessment Network, 1998. Online. Available: http://www.naturewatch.ca/eman/reports/publications/99_montane/lepidopt/intro.html

  • Schweitzer, D. F. 2017. Current versus mid 20th century statuses of moths with big summer caterpillars (Saturniidae, Sphingidae, Datana) in nothern New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania. News of the Lepidopterists' Society 59 (3):134-141)

  • Smith, Michael J. 1993. Moths of Western North America, 2. Distribution of Sphingidae of Western North America. Contributions of the C. P. Gillette biodiversity Museum, Department of Entomology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado.

  • Tuttle, J. P. 2007. The hawk moths of North America: A natural history study of the Sphingidae of the United States and Canada. The Wedge Entomological Research Foundation, Washington, D. C. 253 pp. +23 plates.

  • Wildlife Management Information System (WMIS). 2006+. Geo-referenced wildlife datasets (1900 to present) from all projects conducted by Environment and Natural Resources, Government of the Northwest Territories, Canada.  Available at http://www.enr.gov.nt.ca/programs/wildlife-research/wildlife-management-information-services

  • Wood, D.M. 1955. Breeding of Celerio lineata and Celerio gallii on Michipicoten Island, Thunder Bay District, Ontario. Ontario Field Biologist 9:26.

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