Created/dedicated as per personal communication with Rick Remy, Darapsa myra, Birmingham, July 29, 2014
Updated as per James P. Tuttle's The Hawk Moths of North America, July 29, 2014
Updated as per BAMONA, July 29, 2014
Jefferson County, Alabama
Darapsa myron, Birmingham, Jefferson County, Alabama,
July 29, 2014, courtesy of Rick Remy.
This page is inspired by and dedicated to Rick Remy who sent me images and sighting data for Darapsa myron
in Birmingham, Jefferson County, Alabama.
Thirty-two Sphingidae species are listed for Alabama on the BAMONA websiteas of July 29, 2014. Not all of the species are reported or anticipated in Jefferson County.
(As of July 29, 2014, six species:
Ceratomia catalpae; Paonias astylus; Paratraea plebeja; Sphinx chersis; Darapsa myron; Eumorpha fasciatus are reported on BAMONA). It is hoped that this checklist, with the thumbnails and notes, will help you
quickly identify the moths you are likely to encounter.
I have added many unconfirmed species to the list that I (William Oehlke) expect are present or might be present in your county.
Please help me develop this list with improved, documented accuracy by sending sightings (species, date, location), preferably with an
electronic image, via email to Bill Oehlke.
Please also forward your sightings to BAMONA, an excellent on-line resource.
The night-blooming moon flower will attract many Sphingidae at dusk and into the night.
Visit Jefferson County Sphingidae Larvae: Caterpillars; Hornworms
Visit Alabama Catocala: Underwing Moths
If you are travelling, you can find active Sphingidae checklists for all coutries in North, Central, and South America and the Caribbbean via the links at
North, Central, South American Sphingidae checklists
Agrius cingulata, Pink-spotted hawkmoth.
This species is a strong migrant and adults nectar from deep-throated flowers including moonflower (Calonyction aculeatum),
morning glory (Convolvulus), honey suckle (Lonicera) and petunia (Petunia species).
Ceratomia amyntor, Elm Sphinx 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.
Larvae feed on Elm (Ulmus), birch (Betula), basswood (Tilia), and
Ceratomia catalpae, Catalpa Sphinx:
The upperside of the forewing is yellowish brown with no white markings, but there are indistinct black lines and dashes.
The cell spot is gray with a black outline. The larvae feed in large groups and are much more spectacular than the moths.
Catalpa is the larval host.
Ceratomia hageni, Hagen's Sphinx; Osage Orange Sphinx. Larvae feed on osage orange (Maclura pomifera).
The upperside of the forewing is gray with a green tint and has dark indistinct wavy lines, and pale gray patches at the wing tip and along the costa.
The upperside of the hindwing is dark grayish brown with paler gray at the base and outer margin.
Ceratomia undulosa, Waved Sphinx: The upperside of the forewing is pale brownish gray with wavy black
and white lines and a black-outlined white cell spot. The upperside of the hindwing is gray with diffuse darker bands.
Dolba hyloeus, Pawpaw Sphinx: The upperside of the forewing is dark brown with a dusting of white
scales. Some moths have patches of reddish or yellowish brown on the wings.
Lapara coniferarum, Southern Pine Sphinx:
The upperside is of the forewing is gray with two (sometimes one or three) black dashes near the wing center; other markings are usually diffuse. The upperside of
the hindwing is a uniform brown-gray. If you've got pines, this species is likely present.
Lapara phaeobrachycerous, Gulf Pine Sphinx:
The upperside of the forewing is charcoal gray to brownish gray with white scales along the curving postmedial line and a prominent black dash
(sometimes two) near the center of the wing. The upperside of the hindwing is uniform charcoal gray to brownish gray with no white scales or markings.
If you have pines, you might have this species.
Manduca jasminearum, Ash Sphinx:
The upperside of forewing is gray to grayish brown with a black line running from the middle of the costa to the middle of the outer
margin; the line may be broken near the margin. There is a splash of brown around the cell spot.
Manduca quinquemaculatus, Five-spotted Hawkmoth:
I suspect if you grow tomatoes, you are likely to encounter Manduca quinquemaculatus.
Manduca rustica, Rustic Sphinx:
Look for three large yellow spots on each side of the abdomen. The upperside of the forewing is yellowish brown to deep chocolate brown with a dusting of white
scales and zigzagged black and white lines.
Manduca sexta, Carolina Sphinx:
If you grow tomatoes, you have probably encountered Manduca sexta in the larval stage.
Larvae get very large and can strip a tomato plant.
Neococytius cluentius, possible stray from further south, Cluentius Sphinx:
Fw upper side is blurry black with orange markings. Hw upperside is black with orange at the base and
orangish yellow patches between the veins, forming a band across the wing.
Paratrea plebeja, Plebeian Sphinx: The upperside of the forewing is gray with indistinct black and
white markings. There is a series of black dashes from the base to the tip, and a small white cell spot.
Sphinx drupiferarum, generally more northerly, Wild Cherry Sphinx.
Dull slate grey with considerable light grey scaling in broad band along costa about 3/4 of distance from body toward
apex. Median lines: black, thin. Wavy, diffuse dark subterminal line, inwardly bordered by white, whitish bar in terminal
area, paralleling outer margin.
Sphinx franckii, Franck's Sphinx Moth:
The costal half of the forewings are grey, but the posterior portion is a distinctive warm yellowish-brown; the boundary between these two
areas is marked with a series of dark diagonal streaks. Similar to S. kalmiae but lacks the dark bar along the fw inner margin.
Sphinx kalmiae, 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.
Amorpha juglandis, 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. Patterns range from faint to pronounced. Femaleis different.
Pachysphinx modesta, Modest Sphinx or Poplar Sphinx:
This moth has a large, heavy body, and females can be remarkably plump.Hindwings are maroon, blue and grey-brown.
Paonias astylus, Huckleberry Sphinx:
Both sexes rest with wings parallel to resting surface, with upper lobes of hindwings protruding above forewings. Lower abdomen of
male arcs upward toward head, while abdomen of female hangs strait down on vertical surface.
Paonias excaecata, Blinded Sphinx:
Named for the dull grey-blue spot (minus dark pupil) in the hindwing, this moth has a wide distribution in the eastern United States.
I regularly see them on Prince Edward Island, and they are reported as far south as Florida.
Paonias myops, Small-eyed Sphinx:
Named for the small eye-spot in the hindwing, this moth has a wide distribution and is probably common in your county.
I regularly see them on Prince Edward Island, and they are reported as far south as Florida.
Smerinthus jamaicensis, Twin-spotted Sphinx:
This moth is widely distributed and fairly common. Along the East Coast, it flies from P.E.I. to Florida.
Enyo lugubris, Mournful Sphinx,
WO, usually more southerly: Body and wings are dark brown. Fw has a large black
patch covering most of outer half of the wing. There is a pale tan cell spot (dark inner pupil), and fairly straight median line
to inside of cell spot.
See Hemaris comparison to help distinguish
the next two species.
Hemaris thysbe, 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.
Eumorpha achemon, Achemon Sphinx:
Larvae get large and feed on grape vines and Virginia creeper.
Note the differences between this moth and the Pandorus Sphinx.
Eumorpha fasciatus, Banded Sphinx/Lesser Vine Sphinx:
The upperside of the moth is dark pinkish brown. Each forewing has a lighter brown band along the costa, and sharp pinkish white bands and
streaks. Larvae feed upon primrose-willow, Ludwigia (water primrose) and other plants in the evening primrose family.
Eumorpha intermedia, generally more southerly, Intermediate Sphinx:
The Intermediate Sphinx Moth, (Eumorpha intermedia), (Wing span: 3 9/16 - 3 7/8 inches (9 - 9.8 cm)), flies in lower austral and subtropical lowlands in
North Carolina, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, and South Texas. posibility
Eumorpha pandorus, Pandorus Sphinx: If you have Grape or Virginia Creeper nearby, then you probably have
this species. I often get asked to identify larvae from areas not previously reported.
Eumorpha typhon, Typhon Sphinx.
The upperside of wings is deep red-brown with pale brown bands. Each hindwing has pink along the costal margin and a triangular white spot
on the outer part of the inner margin. possible rare stray, based on Derek Bridgehouse report from Madison County.
Amphion floridensis, Nessus Sphinix:
This day flier is widely distributed. If you have Virginia Creeper, you probably have the Nessus Sphinx.
Two bright, distinct, narrow yellow
bands are often visible on the abdomen.
Darapsa choerilus, Azalea Sphinx:
The lower wings of this hawkmoth are a solid brownish-orange, matching the body colour.
You will often see this species listed as Darapsa pholus, especially in older literature.
Darapsa myron RR, Virginia Creeper Sphinx; Grapevine Sphinx:
If you have the foodplants indicated in the common names, you probably have this species nearby. The lower wings are orange.
Darapsa versicolor, Hydrangea Sphinx:
If you have hydrangea growing near a stream, then you might have the Hydrangea Sphinx.
Deidamia inscriptum, Lettered Sphinx:
The moth's outer margin of the forewing is deeply scalloped. The upperside is light brown with dark brown markings.
There is a small black and white spot near the tip. Grape (Vitis), ampelopsis (Ampelopsis), and Virginia creeper
(Parthenocissus) all serve as larval hosts.
Hyles lineata, White-lined Sphinx:
This species has strong migrating tendancies from much further south.There are records from New Hampshire and Maine.
Proserpinus guarae, Proud Sphinx:
The rare and possibly endangered Proud Sphinx flies from Texas and Louisiana east to northern Florida, north to Alabama, Missouri,
northern Georgia, and South Carolina. slight possibility
Sphecodina abbottii, Abbott's Sphinx:
This moth is very much under reported across the United States. It is a rapid day flier so is probably not in too many collections.
Grape is a popular larval host.
Xylophanes tersa, Tersa Sphinx:
The upperside of the forewing is pale brown with lavender-gray at the base and has dark brown
lengthwise lines throughout. The upperside of the hindwing is dark brown with a band of whitish, wedge-shaped marks.
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