Paonias excaecata, the Blinded Sphinx

Paonias excaecata
(J. E. Smith, 1797) Sphinx

Paonias excaecata, Whitby, Ontario
July 7, 2011, courtesy of Melisa.

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Family: Sphingidae, Latreille, 1802
Subfamily: Sphinginae, Latreille, 1802
Tribe: Smerinthini, Grote & Robinson, 1865
Genus: Paonias Hubner, [1819]
Species: excaecata (J.E. Smith, 1797)


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Melisa writes, "Someone said this was a mournful sphinx but I have my doubts. From what I understand they are not common this far north. This was sighted today in Whitby, On doing what seemed like sun bathing for about 2 hours. It was approximately 6cm long. This was the highlight of my day... Can you tell me what species of moth it is?"

I replied, "It is one of the Sphingidae species, Paonias excaecatus. You are correct, the Mournful Sphinx, Enyo lugubris, flies much further to the south and would not be expected in Ontario. Paonias excaecata, however, would be common there.

I would like to post pictures with credit to you on my Ontario Sphingidae page?

It appears to be a freshly emerged female, and if you leave it be and predators do not eat it, there will probalby be a male paired with it tomorrow morning."

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.

Eggs of many North American species are offered during the spring and summer. Occasionally summer Actias luna and summer Antheraea polyphemus cocoons are available. Shipping to US destinations is done from with in the US.

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