Updated as per James P. Tuttle's The Hawk Moths of North America, March 9, 2009
Updated as per personal communication with Jenniffer L. Bundy, March 2009

Yuma County, Arizona


Euproserpinus phaeton "mojave" male, Yuma, Arizona,
December 24, 2008, courtesy of Jennifer L. Bundy.

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

This page is inspired by and dedicated to Jeenifer L. Bundy who sent me the image of the Euproserpinus phaeton "mojave" male at the top of this page. Jenifer is one of the few people who has reared this species from egg to adult. Additional images are posted on the E. phaeton file. Fifty-three Sphingidae species are listed for Arizona on the U.S.G.S. website. Not all of the species are reported or anticipated in Yuma County (five are reported on U.S.G.S. as of March 2009). It is hoped that this checklist, with the thumbnails and notes, will help you quickly identify the moths 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. An "AF" indicates the moth is reported by Adam Fleishman. A "DB" indicates the larvae is depicted courtesy of David Bygott. A "USGS" indicates the moth is confirmed on USGS site.

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

This moth is a very strong flier, and make its way to southern Arizona and southern California.

It is confirmed for Pima County and neighbouring counties.

Manduca quinquemaculata USGS, the Five-spotted Hawkmoth

This species is confirmed in Pima County, and has been seen in nearby counties. I suspect if you grow tomatoes, you are likely to encounter it.

Manduca rustica USGS, the Rustic Sphinx

This species is officially recorded in Pima County, and it has been taken in other nearby counties. Look for three large yellow spots on each side of the abdomen.

Manduca sexta USGS, the Carolina Sphinx

This species is recorded in Pima County. If you grow tomatoes, you have probably encountered it, though.

Larvae get very large and can strip a tomato plant.

Sagenosoma elsa USGS, the Elsa sphinx

This species is recorded in Pima County. The upperside of the forewing has a wide white band along the costa from base to apex. The remainder of the wing has black and white bands.

Sphinx chersis WO/IN, the Northern Ash Sphinx or Great Ash Sphinx

This species is reported in Pima. Larval hosts are ash, lilac, privet, cherry, and quaking aspen.

Sphinx istar WO/IN, the Istar Sphinx

The upperside of the forewing is dark gray with brown tinges. A series of narrow dashes runs from the tip to the cell spots, and a wide black band runs from the middle of the outer margin to the base of the wing. It flies to the east and to the south and might be present.

Smerinthini Tribe:

Pachysphinx occidentalis USGSER, the Big Poplar Sphinx

This one is quite similar to Pachysphinx modesta, with modesta being smaller and darker.

Moths should be on the wing from June-August.

Smerinthus cerisyi USGS/ER, 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 saliceti USGS/IN/ER, the Salicet Sphinx, flies in valleys and along streamsides from Mexico City north to west Texas, southern Arizona, and extreme southern California. Larvae feed on poplars and willows.
Flight would be from late April-September, probably as a double brood.

Macroglossinae subfamily

Dilophonotini tribe:

Aellopos clavipes USGS, the Aellopos Sphinx.

The body is dark brown with a wide white band across the abdomen. Wings are dark brown. The forewing has a black cell spot and 3 white spots near the pale brown marginal area. possible stray

Aellopos titan USGS, the Titan Sphinx.

The body is dark brown with a wide white stripe across the abdomen. The wings are dark brown. It is very similar to above species, but the upperside of the hindwing has pale patches along the costa and inner margin. possible stray

Callionima falcifera USGS

This species is reddish, has falcate wings and flies after midnight.

possible stray

Callionima parce WO, the Parce sphinx

This species is easily confused with C. falcifera and may or may not be present in Arizona.

See the species file. possible stray

Enyo lugubris, the Mournful Sphinx, USGS

The body and wings are dark brown. The forewing has a large black patch covering most of the outer half of the wing. There is a pale tan cell spot (dark inner pupil), and a fairly straight median line to the inside of the cell spot. possible stray

Erinnyis alope, the Alope Sphinx, WO

The upperside of the forewing is dark brown with short yellowish streaks on the forward half and wavy yellowish bands on the rear half.
The upperside of the hindwing is bright yellow with a wide dark brown border. possible stray

Erinnyis crameri, the Cramer's Sphinx, WO

The upperside of the abdomen is gray, without black bands, and the underside does not have black spots. The upperside of the forewing is dark brown, and may have pale yellow-brown patches along the inner edge.

Erinnyis ello USGS, the Ello Sphinx

This species is reported in Pima County and in other southern Arizona counties.
Males and females differ. rare

Erinnyis lassauxi WO, the Dominican Sphinx

This moth flies in Haiti and Jamaica south to Paraguay and Bolivia with occasional sightings in Texas and Arizona.
possible stray

Erinnyis obscura, the Obscure Sphinx, USGS

During the night adults nectar at flowers, including bouncing bet (Saponaria officinalis) and Asystasia gangetica beginning at dusk.

July and August are flight times in the southern states.

Hemaris thetis WO, the Thetis Clearwing or Bee Hawk 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.

Isognathus rimosa, the Rimosus Sphinx, WO
The upperside of female forewing is mostly gray brown on the front half and dark brown on the rear half while the upperside of male forewing is yellow gray or gray brown. Both sexes have wavy dark markings. The upperside of the hindwing of both sexes is yellow with an incomplete dark border on the outer margin. possible stray

Pachylia ficus, the Fig Sphinx, WO
The upperside of the forewing is orangish brown with a paler patch along the costa at the tip.
The upperside of the hindwing is orange to orangish brown with a black outer border, a black median band, and a white spot on the outer margin near the body. possible stray

Pseudosphinx tetrio, the Tetrio Sphinx, USGS

The upperside of the forewing is dark brown with a dark spot at the base of the costa and blurry gray and white markings. The upperside of the hindwing is dark brown with white along the inner margin, and the lower half of the outer margin. possible stray

Philampelini tribe:

Eumorpha achemon WO, the Achemon Sphinx

This moth is officially reported for Pima County.
Eumorpha achemon larvae feed upon Grape (Vitis), Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) and other vines and ivies (Ampelopsis).

Eumorpha satellitia WO, the Satellite Sphinx

The Satellite Sphinx Moth, Eumorpha satellitia satellitia flies in Jamaica and from Mexico to Ecuador and further south into Bolivia. stray

Eumorpha typhon WO/IN/ER, the 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 stray

Eumorpha vitis WO, the 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. The hindwing has a pink patch on the inner margin. possible stray

Macroglossini tribe:

Euproserpinus phaeton mojave, the Phaeton Primrose Sphinx, JLB/ USGS

Adults nectar at flowers during the warm parts of the day. Euproserpinus phaeton adults fly swiftly and close to the ground over dry washes and flat areas in deserts as a single brood from February-April.

Hyles lineata WO, the White-lined Sphinx

Adam Fleishman reports many August 11-21 in Tucson, Arizona.
David Bygott sent a larva image in April. Larvae can be quite varied.

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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