Created/dedicated as per personal communication with Kara Jensen (Flagstaff, Arizona, Lintneria separatus; September 19, 2016); September 20, 2016
Updated as per James P. Tuttle's The Hawk Moths of North America, September 20, 2016
Updated as per BAMONA; September 20, 2016

Coconino County, Arizona
Sphingidae Larvae

Lintneria separatus fifth instar, 30m W of Flagstaff, Coconino County, Arizona,
September 19, 2016, courtesy of Kara Jensen.

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

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

This page is inspired by and dedicated to Kara Jensen. Kara sent me the image of the Lintneria separatus larva at the top of the page. She writes, "Hello! I found this beauty about 30 miles West of Flagstaff. Took me a while to find any photos like it to identify it as it is so red (picture doesn't do it justice). Thought you might like to add it to your [separatus] page."

Fifty-nine Sphingidae species are listed for Arizona on the BAMONA website as of September 20, 2016). Not all of the species are reported or anticipated in Coconino County (fifteen are reported on BAMONA. as of September 20, 2016). It is hoped that this checklist, with the thumbnails and notes, will help you quickly identify the caterpillars you are likely to encounter.

A "WO" after the species name indicates that I (William Oehlke) expect that this moth is present or might be present, although unreported. A "BAMONA" indicates the species is confirmed on BAMONA site. Please also send yor sightings to BAMONA, an excellent online resource.

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.

Sphinginae subfamily

Sphingini tribe:

Agrius cingulata, WO Pink-spotted Hawkmoth: Convolvulaceae family:, especially Ipomoea batatas (sweet potato); Solanaceae family: especially (Datura) (jimsonweed) and related plants in Americas. Also a brown form. Look for very large, dark spiracular circles. likely as an adult stray; unlikely as larva

Lintneria separatus TJ, Separated Sphinx. Salvia greggii has been confirmed as a larval host by Robert A. Behrstock. Jim Tuttle, tentative id, writes, "All of the penultimate instars of both Lintneria (Sphinx) istar and Lintneria (Sphinx) separatus that I have reared have been mundane green."

Lintneria separatus, near Flagstaff, September 19, 2016, Kara Jensen.

Manduca quinquemaculatus BAMONA, Five-spotted Hawkmoth. Tomato Hornworms: each has a black horn at the end of abdomen. Potato, tobacco, tomato, and other plants in the nightshade family (Solanaceae). Most larvae are green, but there is also a very beautiful brown form to the left.

Manduca rustica WO, Rustic Sphinx. The caterpillar has numerous white nodules on top of thorax and seven pairs of oblique, blue-gray stripes along body side. Horn is white at base; blue-gray at tip. Many hosts.

Manduca sexta WO, Carolina Sphinx. Tobacco Hornworms, equipped with a red-tipped horn at the end of the abdomen, are true gluttons and feed on tobacco and tomato, and occasionally potato and pepper crops and other plants in the nightshade family (Solanaceae).

Sagenosoma elsa BAMONA, Elsa Sphinx. Larval hosts are unknown, but larvae probably feed on Lycium in the nightshade family (Solanaceae).Note the strong oblique black lines and the black anal horn.

Sphinx asellus BAMONA, Asella sphinx. Larval hosts are Manzanita and Arctostaphylos of the Ericaceae family. Look for a blue horn and strong purple colouration.

Sphinx chersis BAMONA, Great Ash Sphinx. Larvae: pale bluish green. Head with pair of yellow lateral bands meeting at the apex. Larval hosts are ash, lilac, privet, cherry, and quaking aspen.

Sphinx dollii BAMONA, Doll's sphinx: Alligator juniper (Juniperus deppeana), other juniper species. It is amazing to me how well the larval spiracular patches and false feet match the pattern and colour of the juniper bark.

Sphinx libocedrus BAMONA, Incense Cedar Sphinx. New Mexican forestiera (Forestiera neomexicana), Forestiera angustifolia, little leaf ash (Fraxinus gooddingii) in Oleaceae family. Green and dark forms; larvae tend to darken just before pupation.

Sphinx vashti BAMONA, Snowberry Sphinx.Larvae feed on the common snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus) and on coralberry (S. orbiculatus).

Note the two golden lines of slightly raised bumps, one just behind the head, the other on the thorax.

Smerinthini Tribe:

Pachysphinx occidentalis WO, Big Poplar Sphinx. Larvae feed on cottonwood and poplar (Populus) and willow (Salix).

Larvae are very chunky with little to distinguish them from Pachysphinx modesta.

Paonias excaecata BAMONA, the Blinded Sphinx. Larvae accept willows, birches, and cherries. I have also found them in the wild on oak in eastern Canada.

Skin is quite granulous.

Paonias myops BAMONA, Small-eyed Sphinx. Wild cherry species are the favorites as larval foodplants, but eggs will also be deposited on birches and other forest trees. To the left a second/third instar larva rests on pin cherry. The "red heart" marking readily identifies this species. generally more eastern species; possibly

Smerinthus cerisyi BAMONA, Cerisy's Sphinx; Greatly resemble modesta larvae, both pale green, with granular skin, pale lateral diagonal lines, faint red spiracular circles, very pale longitudinal lines running from head to more pronounced anal diagonal line. Green heads bounded dorsally with pale yellow inverted "V".

Smerinthus saliceti WO, Salicet Sphinx, flies in valleys and along streamsides from Mexico City north to west Texas, southern Arizona, and extreme southern California. There are two colour morphs, one pale green; one lime green. Willow (Salix) or poplar (Populus).

Macroglossinae subfamily

Dilophonotini tribe:

Erinnyis crameri, Cramer's Sphinx, WO. Various plants in the dogbane family (Apocynaceae): Rauvolfia ligustrina, Rauvolfia tetraphylla, Stemmadenia obovata. There is also a brown form. likely as an adult stray; unlikely in larval stage.

Erinnyis ello WO, Ello Sphinx. Papaya (Carica papaya), Cnidoscolus angustidens, poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima), guava (Psidium species), saffron plum (Bumelia angustifolia/Bumelia celastrina). Manilkara bahamensis, Willow Bustic (Bumelia salicifolia) and Painted Leaf (Poinsettia heterophylla) are also hosts. Nice socks! Very variable.

Erinnyis obscura, Obscure Sphinx, WO. Rauvolfia ligustrina, Rauvolfia tetraphylla, Stemmadenia obovata, Philibertia, Cynanchum, papaya (Carica papaya), Asclepiadaceae, Blepharodon mucronatum, White vine (Sarcostemma clausum) and Morrenia odorata.

Hemaris thetis BAMONA Snowberry (Symphoricarpos), honeysuckle (Lonicera), Coralberry, viburnums, high bush cranberry, hawthorn (Crataegus). Horn: black with slightly lighter base. This western species was formerly classified as H. diffinis or H. senta. Those species west of the Continental Divide are H. thetis.

Philampelini tribe:

Eumorpha achemon BAMONA, Achemon Sphinx. Grape (Vitis), Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) and other vines and ivies (Ampelopsis). Larvae occur in both a light (green) form and a darker (tan/brown) form. Note six "segmented" oblique lines.

Macroglossini tribe:

Euproserpinus wiesti, BAMONA, Wiest's Primrose Sphinx: Day flyer over sand washes, prairie blow-outs as single brood from May-June. Prairie primrose (Oenothera latifolia) in evening primrose family (Onagraceae). Captive rearing difficult. Larvae need sunshine, heat, humidity.

Hyles lineata BAMONA, White-lined Sphinx. Highly varied and feed on a great diversity of plants including willow weed (Epilobium), four o'clock (Mirabilis), apple (Malus), evening primrose (Oenothera), elm (Ulmus), grape (Vitis), tomato (Lycopersicon), purslane (Portulaca), Fuschia. All larvae seem, however, to have red/black swellings split by dorso-lateral lines.

Proserpinus juanita BAMONA, Juanita Sphinx: Newly-hatched caterpillars eat eggshells. (Onagraceae) including evening primrose (Oenothera), gaura (Gaura), and willow weed (Epilobium). Michael Van Buskirk has found them on Guara biennis in Missouri. rare

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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