Created as per James P. Tuttle's The Hawk Moths of North America, July 20, 2017
Updated as per BAMONA, July 20, 2017
Del Norte County, California
It is hoped that this checklist, with the thumbnails and notes, will help you quickly identify the moths you have encountered.
Please help me develop this list with improved, documented accuracy by sending sightings (species, date, location), preferably with an
image, via email to Bill Oehlke.
I have no confirmed reports of these moths in Del Norte County, except for the ones specifically referenced to BAMONA or to a specific
individual, but based on James A. Tuttle's book and sightings in nearby counties, I think all the species on this page are likely present. There is a good chance,
however, that Smerinthus cerisyi is replaced in northern and central California by Smerinthus ophthalmica.
You can visit Sphingidae checklists for all US states, all Canadian provinces and all countries in Central and South America and in the Carribean
via the links at Sphingidae Checklists.
This large bodied moth flies in tobacco fields and vegetable gardens
(potatoes, tomatoes) and wherever host plants are found.
you grow tomatoes, you might encounter it.
Larvae get very large and can strip a tomato plant.
Sphinx chersis, 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 reaching the wing tip. Note grey
thorax with narrow black lines.
Forewings, long and slender, are held close to the body when the moth is at rest.I only see them occasionally on P.E.I. despite visiting lights
Sphinx perelegans, Elegant Sphinx (BAMONA). Sphinx perelegans adults fly in montane woodlands and mixed
chaparral-type vegetation as a single brood in the north, with adults mainly on the wing in June and July.
It flies from dusk until after midnight. Note dark thorax.
Adults fly as a single brood in the desert and in pinyon-juniper
woodland from May to August.
This one is quite similar to Pachysphinx modesta, with modesta
being smaller and darker.
Moths should be on the wing from June-August.
The grey-blue eyespot (without a black center pupil) of the hindwing gives this species its name.
Larvae feed on birches, willows, cherries and oaks.
The outer edge of the forewings is quite scalloped.
Smerinthus cerisyi, Cerisyi's Sphinx or One-eyed Sphinx. (BAMONA) Larvae feed on poplars and willows.
Flight would be from late May-July as a single brood. Probably this species is replaced by Ophthalmica in northern and central CA.
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.
Hemaris thetis, 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.
It should be present wherever grapes are found.
Fight would be from June to August. Larvae feed on grape foliage.
the Pacific Green Sphinx Moth or Bear Sphinx
This species is
confirmed in Tehama
County by Rodger Harris, January 9, 2007.
It tends to be
an early winter-early spring flier, on the wing in the early
evening. It comes to lights at night.
Adults usually fly at dusk, during the night, at dawn, and during the
day. Moths nectar at salvia and oviposit on Epilobium cana
(California fuchsia) and Hooker's Evening Primrose.
Proserpinus clarkiae, Clark's Sphinx.
Adults fly in the afternoon from April-June in oak woodland and
pine-oak woodland in foothills, nectaring from chia, heartleaf
milkweed, golden currant, bluedicks, fairyfans, vetches,
thistles, hedgenettles, etc.
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.
Use your browser "Back" button to return to the previous page.
This page is brought to you by Bill Oehlke and the
WLSS. Pages are on space rented from Bizland. If you would like to become a "Patron of the Sphingidae Site", contact Bill.
Please send sightings/images to Bill. I will do my best to respond to requests for identification help.
Show appreciation for this site by clicking on flashing butterfly to the left.
The link will take you to a page with links to many insect sites.