Created as per personal communication with Joel Szymczyk, June 30, 2004
Updated as per personal communication with Ken Philip
Updated as per personal communication with Danielle (Ellie) Mason via Andrea Mather, August 8, 2005
Updated as per James P. Tuttle's The Hawk Moths of North America, September 4, 2008
Updated as per personal communication with Kyle Campbell, August 4, 2010
Updated as per personal communication with Jim Gilbert, June 24, 2011
Updated as per personal communication with Carl Seutter, September 18, 2011
Updated as per personal communication with Joel Adams, September 24, 2011
Updated as per personal communication with Julie Stotts, August 13, 2012; August 23, 2012
Updated as per personal communication with Dave Helgert, September 27, 2012
Updated as per personal communication with Ted Haussner, August 9, 2013
Updated as per personal communication with Kristin Beck, August 16, 2013
Updated as per personal communication with Merry Keene, September 1, 2013

The Sphingidae of Alaska

Hyles gallii larva on Epilobium, Delta Junction, Alaska, August 8, 2005,
courtesy of Danielle (Ellie) Mason via Andrea Mather.

Hyles gallii larvae show at least two colour forms, one that is primarily black, and one that is primarily tan:

Hyles gallii fifth instar, Wasilla, Alaska,
August 13, 2012, courtesy of Julie Stotts.

Dave Helgert sends the following image, and it is first time I have seen a gallii larva without the larger white subovals that are usually so prominent dorso-laterally. You can, however, see their faint outline.

Hyles gallii fifth instar, Pt. MacKenzie, Alaska,
September 24, 2012, courtesy of Dave Helgert.

See the link below for an image of an Hyles gallii larva, courtesy of Kristin Beck, where the whitish sub-ovals are reddish orange.

Click on one of the Scientific names to see images and access information. N.B., the files are not linked back to this page. To return to this index, simply use your browser back button.

Special thanks goes to Ken Philip who sent me "a list (all 5 species) of the Sphingidae from Alaska in the Alaska Lepidoptera Survey collection:"

Joel Szymczyk writes, "This morning (June 30, 2004) I found what appears to be Smerinthus cerisyi. Location was: 63 19 42.884N 142 48 31.346W; Near MP 1308.5 Alaska Highway; Tok, Alaska"

Traci Campbell reports Hyles gallii larva, August 16, 2005, in Palmer, Alaska. She writes, "The one I found is a dark brown with lighter tan dots down each side and a red horn on the end."

Jim Gilbert confirms Hemaris thysbe from Fairbanks, June 24, 2011, 1:15pm.

Hemaris thysbe, Fairbanks, Alaska,
1:15 pm, June 24, 2011, courtesy of Jim Gilbert.

Please send sightings, preferably with images, to Bill Oehlke.

Sphinginae subfamily

Sphingini Tribe:

wwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

Smerinthini Tribe:

Smerinthus cerisyi SE 1/8

Macroglossinae subfamily

Dilophonotini Tribe:m

Hemaris diffinis XSE
Hemaris thysbe SE 1/2


Philampelini Tribe:m





Macroglossini Tribe:

Hyles gallii E 3/4
Pro. flavofasciata SE 2/5


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Thumbnail Checklist (adult moths):

Smerinthus cerisyi USGS/JS, Cerisyi's Sphinx: If you have willows and poplars nearby, you've probably got populations of the Cerisyi's Sphinx. Hindwings are quite striking.

Smerinthus cerisyi, Tok, June 30, 2004, Joel Szymczyk

Hemaris diffinis WO, Snowberry Clearwing, or Bumblebee Moth: Wings: basically clear, with dark brown to brownish-orange veins, bases, edges. Thorax: golden-brown to dark greenish-brown. Abdomen tends to be dark (black) with 1-2 yellow segments.

Hemaris thysbe WO/JG, Hummingbird Clearwing: Not difficult to see why many gardeners would mistake an this moth for small hummingbird as it hovers, sipping nectar from flowers through long feeding tube.

Hemaris thysbe, Southcentral Alaska: Index Lake, Fairbanks vicinity, Ken Philip.
Hemaris thysbe, Fairbanks, 1:15pm, June 24, 2011, Jim Gilbert

Hyles gallii WO, Bedstraw Hawk Moth or Gallium Sphinx: Thick, cream-coloured, slightly irregular, diagonal line on forewing as well as absence of much thinner "white lines/streaks" distinguish this species from Hyles lineata.

Proserpinus flavofasciata WO, Yellow-banded Day Sphinx: Fw upperside: medium to dark brown with faint to distinct white median band. Hw upperside: dark brown with wide orange median band which may not reach inner margin. Moth mimics bumblebee.

Thumbnail Checklist (larvae):

For care of "found larvae/caterpillars" visit Manduca sexta larva, central Texas, August 21, 2008, Trina Woodall.

Smerinthus cerisyi WO, Cerisy's Sphinx; Pale green, granular skin, pale lateral diagonal lines, faint red spiracular circles, very pale longitudinal lines running from head to more pronounced anal diagonal line. Ggreen heads bounded dorsally with pale yellow inverted V.

Hemaris diffinis USGS, Snowberry Clearwing: Snowberry (Symphoricarpos), honeysuckle (Lonicera), Coralberry, viburnums, Blue Dogbane (Apocynum), dwarf bush honeysuckle (Diervilla lonicera). Horn: black; yellow base.

Hemaris thysbe USGS, Hummingbird Clearwing: Also an orangey-pink prepupal form. Lateral line runs from S1 to the blue horn. Viburnum and related plants.

Hyles gallii WO/EMvAM/CS/DH/TH, the Bedstraw Hawk Moth Gallium Sphinx: Larvae come in black forms, with or without large white subdorsal ovals, and in brown forms and drab green forms. Epilobium (fireweed).

Hyles gallii larva, Fairbanks, Alaska, August 4, 2010, courtesy of Kyle Campbell.
Hyles gallii larva on Epilobium, Delta Junction, Alaska, August 8, 2005, courtesy of Danielle (Ellie) Mason via Andrea Mather.
Hyles gallii larva, near Wasilla, Alaska; 61d37m north, 149d23m49s west; feeding on fireweed;
September 18, 2011; Carl Seutter
Hyles gallii larva, Anchorage, Alaska; 61 8'10.09"N Latitude and 14946'27.07"W; September 24, 2011; Joel Adams
Hyles gallii fifth instar, Pt. MacKenzie, Alaska, September 24, 2012, courtesy of Dave Helgert.
Hyles gallii, larva, Anchorage, Alaska, August 7, 2013, Ted Haussner.
Hyles gallii, larva, Prince William Sound, Esther Island, Alaska, August 15, 2013, Kristin Beck.
Hyles gallii, Shrine of St. Therese, Juneau, Alaska, August 7, 2013, Laurie Lamm.

Hyles gallii WO/KC/JS/MK, Bedstraw Hawk Moth, Gallium Sphinx: Brown form from Fairbanks, Alaska, August 4, 2010, courtesy of Kyle Campbell. Larva pupated within one week of being photographed. My understanding is that many forms can all originate from same female.

Hyles gallii fifth instar, Wasilla, Alaska, August 13, 2012, courtesy of Julie Stotts.
Hyles gallii fifth instar (greenish form), Willow Matanuska, Susitna Borough, September 1, 2013, courtesy of Merry Keene.

Proserpinus flavofasciata WO, Yellow-banded Day Sphinx: Larvae feed on willow weed (Epilobium) and possibly thimbleberry (Rubus parviflorus).

Enjoy some of nature's wonderments, giant silk moth cocoons. These cocoons are for sale winter and fall. Beautiful Saturniidae moths will emerge the following spring and summer. Read Actias luna rearing article. Additional online help available.

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