Dedicated/created as per personal communication with Norman Hayward (Hyles lineata), Colorado Springs, September 20, 2010); September 20, 2010
Updated as per James P. Tuttle's The Hawk Moths of North America, September 20, 2010
Butterflies and Moths of North America, September 20, 2010

Fremont County, Colorado


Hyles lineata, Colorado Springs,
September 19, 2010, courtesy of Norman Hayward.

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

This page is inspired by and dedicated to Norman Hayward who sent the image of the Hyles lineata moth at top of the page.

Norman writes, September 20, 2010, "It was seen in Colorado Springs, Colorado, I have more pictures on my blog at

"Thanks, and love your site."

Thirty-three Sphingidae species are listed for Colorado on the U.S.G.S. website. Not all of the species are reported or anticipated in El Paso County (eighteen are reported on U.S.G.S. as of September 2010). 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. 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, USGS, stray, Pink-spotted Hawkmoth: Strong migrant, adults nectar from deep-throated flowers including moonflower (Calonyction aculeatum), morning glory (Convolvulus), honey suckle (Lonicera) and petunia (Petunia species).

Ceratomia amyntor WO, Elm Sphinx, Four-horned Sphinx: Brown with dark brown and white markings including white costal area near wing base, dark streaks along veins, white spot in cell. edge of range

Ceratomia undulosa WO, Waved Sphinx: Pale brownish gray (sometimes dark) with wavy black and white lines and black-outlined white cell spot. Named for wavy lines on forewings.

Lintneria separatus USGS, Separated Sphinx: Dark gray with black and light gray wavy lines. The upperside of the hindwing is black with a brownish gray border and two white bands.

Manduca quinquemaculatus WO, Five-spotted Hawkmoth: Tobacco fields and vegetable gardens (potatoes, tomatoes) and wherever host plants are found. edge of range

Manduca sexta WO, Carolina Sphinx: If you grow tomatoes, you may have encountered it. Larvae get very large and can strip tomato plant. edge of range

Sphinx asellus USGS, Asella sphinx: Pale silver-gray with a series of black dashes, white patch at tip, white stripe along outer margin. Hindwing black with blurry white bands. edge of range

Sphinx chersis WO, Northern Ash Sphinx, Great Ash Sphinx: Larval hosts are ash, lilac, privet, cherry, and quaking aspen.

Sphinx dollii WO, Doll's sphinx: Wing span: 1 3/4 - 2 1/2 inches (4.5 - 6.3 cm): flies in arid brushlands, desert foothills from Nevada and southern California east through Utah, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico to Oklahoma, Texas.

Sphinx drupiferarum USGS, Wild Cherry Sphinx: Forewings: long, slender, held close to body when resting. Costal and terminal areas of fw much lighter than slate grey colouration of rest of wing.

Sphinx gordius USGS, Apple Sphinx: Ranges from brown with black borders through brownish gray with paler borders to pale gray with no borders. Dashes, submarginal line, and cell spot are usually weak. edge of range

Sphinx luscitiosa WO, Canadian Sphinx, Clemen's Sphinx: Fw: yellowish gray in males and pale gray with faint yellow tint in females (female to left). Dark border on outer margin widens as it approaches inner margin. Hw upperside is deep yellow in males, pale yellow in females, both with wide dark border.

Sphinx vashti USGS, Snowberry Sphinx: Adults fly as single brood in montane woodlands, along prairie streamcourses from April to August.Fw upperside has narrow black subterminal line bordered by white inverted V-shaped line on outside, and black line at apex.

Smerinthini Tribe:

Pachysphinx modesta USGS, Modest Sphinx, Poplar Sphinx: This moth has a large, heavy body, and females can be remarkably plump. Lines are blurred, less distinct than in P. occidentalis.

Pachysphinx occidentalis USGS, Big Poplar Sphinx: Quite similar to Pachysphinx modesta, with modesta being smaller and darker. Moths should be on the wing from June-August.

Paonias excaecata USGS, Blinded Sphinx: Fw outer margin quite wavy. Dark cell spot, dark oblique line mid wing from costa almost to inner margin. Basic ground colour is pinkish brown. Flight would be June-July.

Paonias myops USGS, Small-eyed Sphinx: Named for the small eye-spot in the hindwing, this moth has a wide distribution.

Smerinthus cerisyi WO, the Cerisyi's Sphinx or One-eyed Sphinx,

Larvae feed on poplars and willows.

Flight would be from late May-July-early August as a single brood. edge of range

Smerinthus jamaicensis USGS, the Twin-spotted Sphinx

This moth is widely distributed and fairly common.

Along the East Coast, it flies from P.E.I. to Florida. It is less common in the southwest.

Macroglossinae subfamily

Dilophonotini tribe:

Erinnyis ello USGS, the Ello Sphinx

This species is reported in Boulder County, but would likely only be there as a migrant stray from further south.
Males and females differ.

Hemaris diffinis USGS, the Snowberry Clearwing or Bumblebee Moth
Hemaris diffinis is a very variable species, but almost always the abdomen sports contrasting black and yellow hairs, the ventral surface being quite black. The legs also tend to be quite dark and there is a black mask running across the eye and along the sides of the thorax.

Hemaris thetis USGS, 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.; generally more westerly

Philampelini tribe:

Eumorpha achemon USGS, the Achemon Sphinx

Adults nectar from flowers of Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica), petunia (Petunia hybrida), mock orange (Philadelphus coronarius), and phlox (Phlox). Fight would be from June to August. Larvae feed on grape foliage.

Macroglossini tribe:

Amphion floridensis WO, the 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. edge of range

Darapsa myron WO, the Virginia Creeper Sphinx or the Grapevine Sphinx
The forewing upperside is dark brown to pale yellowish gray, with an olive tint, sometimes quite green. On the costal margin there is a dark rectangular patch, although this may be reduced or absent. The upperside of the hindwing is pale orange.

Euproserpinus wiesti WO, Prairie Sphinx or Wiest's Primrose Sphinx: Black body with white band on abdomen. FW upperside gray-brown; median area has black lines and gray band; underside white with black o. m.. Hw upperside yellowish white with narrow black o. m., black at base.

Hyles lineata NH/USGS, the White-lined Sphinx
The forewing upperside is dark olive brown with paler brown along the costa and outer margin, a narrow tan band running from the wing tip to the base, and white streaks along the veins. The hindwing upperside is black with a reddish pink median band.

Hyles lineata, Colorado Springs, September 19, 2010, Norman Hayward.

Proserpinus juanita USGS, the Juanita Sphinx

The upperside of the forewing is pale gray-green with a deep green-brown median area and a white dash at the wing tip.

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.

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.