Updated as per personal communication with Lauren Paterson, July 24, 2009
Sphinx asellus

Sphinx asellus
(Rothschild & Jordan, 1903) Hyloicus perelegans f. asellus

Sphinx asellus, resting on juniper, Payson, Gila County, Arizona,
July 24, 2009, courtesy of Lauren Paterson, tentative id by Bill Oehlke.

I have chosen asellus over chersis for the specimen depicted above, primarily because of the fine second pair of dark streaks on the thorax. I could be wrong!

This site has been created by Bill Oehlke at oehlkew@islandtelecom.com
Comments, suggestions and/or additional information are welcomed by Bill.


Family: Sphingidae, Latreille, 1802
Subfamily: Sphinginae, Latreille, 1802
Tribe: Sphingini, Latreille, 1802
Genus: Sphinx Linnaeus, 1758 ...........
Species: asellus (Rothschild & Jordan, 1903)


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The upperside of the forewing is pale silver-gray with a series of black dashes, a white patch at the tip, and a white stripe along the outer margin. The upperside of the hindwing is black with blurry white bands.

Sphinx asellus is very similar to Sphinx chersis, but asellus is smaller, paler, and has more white above the dark streaks of the forewing apex.

Jim Tuttle writes, "Sphinx chersis has a pair of single and very fine black lines running longitudinally along the thorax; whereas Sphinx asellus (Kitching & Cadiou changed it from asella) almost always has two sets of black lines - the inner lines tend to be bolder than in chersis - the outer (away from the center of the thorax and toward the wings) being very faint."

It is often very difficult to tell the two species apart as adult moths. The larvae, however, are quite distinct.

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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