The Sphingidae of Saskatchewan
Adult Moths

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This website is designed and maintained by Bill Oehlke. Please send sightings (date, location, species) and/or images to Bill.

This page is dedicated to and inspired by Karen Edwards, Marnie Kay-Macmillan, Dave Fries and Doug Freestone, all of whom have sent me Sphingidae larval images from Saskatchewan.

To aid with adult moth identifications this thumbnail checklist has been created (January 7, 2011).

Sphinginae subfamily

Sphingini tribe:

Ceratomia amyntor DF, the Elm or Four-horned Sphinx

The upperside of the forewing is brown with dark brown and white markings including a white costal area near the wing base, dark streaks along the veins, and a white spot in the cell. The upperside of the hindwing is light brown and has a dark brown band along the outer margin.

Ceratomia amyntor larva, Doug Freestone

Ceratomia undulosa WO?, the Waved Sphinx

The upperside of the forewing is pale brownish gray with wavy black and white lines and a black-outlined white cell spot.

Lapara bombycoides WO?, the Northern Pine Sphinx

The upperside of the forewing is gray with heavy black bands. The upperside of the hindwing is brownish gray with no markings. If you have pines, you probably have this species. It also flies on P.E.I.

Manduca quinquemaculatus WO?, the Five-spotted Hawkmoth
The moth abdomen usually has five but sometimes six pairs of yellow bands. The upperside of the forewing is blurry brown and gray. I suspect if you grow tomatoes, you are likely to encounter it.

Sphinx chersis WO?, the Northern Ash Sphinx or Great Ash Sphinx

The upperside of the forewing is soft dark gray to blue-gray with a series of black dashes, one of which reaches the wing tip.

Sphinx drupiferarum WO?, the Wild Cherry Sphinx

Forewings, long and slender, are held close to the body when the moth is at rest. This moth is similar to Sphinx vashti.

Sphinx gordius WO?, probably poecila, the Apple Sphinx

The upperside of the forewing ranges from brown with black borders through brownish gray with paler borders to pale gray with no borders.

Sphinx kalmiae WO?, the Laurel Sphinx

The lower forewings are predominantly brownish-yellow with a fairly wide dark bar along the inner margin. At rest the wings hug the body, giving the moth a long slender look.

Sphinx luscitiosa WO?,, Canadian Sphinx or Clemen's Sphinx. FW upperside is yellowish gray in males and pale gray with faint yellow tint in females. In both sexes, dark border on the outer margin widens as it approaches inner margin. HW upperside is deep yellow in males, pale yellow in females; both with wide black border.

Sphinx poecila WO?, the Poecila Sphinx

If you have blueberries in the woods, then you probably have the Poecila Sphinx.

They are probably widespread throughout Wisconsin, but are very much under reported.

Sphinx vashti WO?, the Snowberry Sphinx,

Snowberry Sphinx adults fly as a single brood in montane woodlands and along prairie streamcourses from April to August.
The upperside of the forewing has a narrow black subterminal line bordered by a white inverted V-shaped line on the outside, and a black line at the apex.

Smerinthini Tribe:

Amorpha juglandis WO?? questionable, the Walnut Sphinx

The adults are also highly variable; sometimes wings of an individual may be all one color or may have several colors, ranging from pale to dark brown, and may have a white or pink tinge. See the file for the female; she is different.

Paonias excaecata WO?, the Blinded Sphinx,

The outer margin of the forewing is quite wavy. There is a dark cell spot and a dark oblique line mid wing from the costa almost to the inner margin. Basic ground colour is pinkish brown.

Flight would be June-July.

Paonias myops WO?, the Small-eyed Sphinx

This species ranges across North America.

The hindwings have a small blue eyespot ringed with black on a yellow background.

Pachysphinx modesta WO?, the Modest Sphinx or Poplar Sphinx,

Hindwings are reddish purple with dark blue near anal angle. They are a heavy bodied species.

Smerinthus cerisyi WO?, the Cerisyi's Sphinx or One-eyed Sphinx,

Larvae feed on poplars and willows. Flight would be from late May-July as a single brood.

Smerinthus opthalmica MPNw

Larvae feed on poplars, aspen and willows. Note different shape of double arced forewing pm line compared to the straighter pm line of cerisyi, directly above. S. ophthalmica has smoother scalloping of the fw outer margin.

Smerinthus jamaicensis WO?, the Twin-spotted Sphinx

Smerinthus jamaicensis closely resembles Smerinthus cerisyi, but jamaicensis is much smaller with larger blue patches on more vibrant and deeper purple in the lower wings.

Macroglossinae subfamily


Dilophonotini Tribe:

See Hemaris comparison to help distinguish the next three species.

Hemaris diffinis WO?, the Snowberry Clearwing or Bumblebee Moth,

The moth flies along forest edges and in meadows, gardens and brushy fields. Day-flying adults nectar at lantana, dwarf bush honeysuckle, snowberry, orange hawkweed, thistles, lilac, Canada violet, etc.

Hemaris gracilis WO?, The Slender Clearwing or Graceful Clearwing

This day flier is not commonly reported.

Hemaris thysbe WO?, the Hummingbird Clearwing

It is not difficult to see why many gardeners would mistake an Hemaris thysbe moth for a small hummingbird as it hovers, sipping nectar from flowers through a long feeding tube.

Philampelini tribe:

Eumorpha achemon KE, the Achemon Sphinx

This moth is reported for Ontario, and it is fairly often reported along the east coast from southern New Jersey to central Maine. Note the differences between this moth and the Pandorus Sphinx.

Eumorpha achemon larva, Karen Edwards

Macroglossini Tribe:

Amphion floridensis WO?, the Nessus Sphinix

This day flier is widely distributed. If you have Virginia Creeper, you might have the Nessus Sphinx.

Two bright, distinct, narrow yellow bands are often visible on the abdomen.

Darapsa choerilus WO?, the Azalea Sphinx

They are common in New Jersey and common here on Prince Edward Island.

You will often see this species listed as Darapsa pholus, especially in older literature.

Hyles euphorbiae WO?, the Spurge Hawk Moth

The body is light brown with various white and dark brown markings, while the wings have a conspicuous tan, brown, and pink or red color pattern.

Hyles euphorbiae larva, Zehner (12 miles NE of Regina), Dave Fries
Hyles euphorbiae larva, Swift Current, Marnie Kay-Macmillan

Hyles gallii WO?, the Bedstraw Hawk Moth or Gallium Sphinx

This species is not reported in Sheboygan, but it has been recorded in other eastern Wisconsin counties. I suspect it is present.
Some years I see them on P.E.I., some years, I do not.

Hyles lineata WO?, the White-lined Sphinx

Adults usually fly at dusk, during the night, and at dawn, but they also fly during the day over a wide variety of open habitats including deserts, suburbs, and gardens.

Proserpinus flavofasciata WO?, the Yellow-banded Day Sphinx,

Proserpinus flavofasciata adults fly from April-June in meadows in coniferous forests. Adults fly during the afternoon, nectaring from lilac, dandelion, cherry, etc.

Proserpinus juanita WO?, the Juanita Sphinx

The upperside of the forewing is pale gray-green with a deep green-brown median area and a white dash at the wing tip.

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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