Updated as per James P. Tuttle's The Hawk Moths of North America, September 19, 2011
Updated as per BAMONA, September 19, 2011
Dedicated as per personal communication with Greg Roehm, Wauchula, early June 2012; August 30, 2012; September 12, 2012; August 2013; ongoing

Hardee County, Florida

Darapsa myron mexicana??, Wauchula, Hardee County, Florida,
early June, 2012, courtesy of Greg Roehm, tentative id by Bill Oehlke.

This page is dedicated to Greg Roehm who provides the image of either Darapsa myron myron or Darapsa myron mexicana from Wauchula. D. myron is reported to be quite variable with regard to colour and strength of markings. The specimen at top of page could be a pale, orangey-brown, lightly maculated nominate myron. (Bill Oehlke). Greg continues to send additional sightings of other species as indicated in the chart.

Shortly after I posted the Darapsa myron image at the top of the page, Vernon Brou advised me that the moth is a nominate Darapsa myron myron brown form, and not subspecies Darapsa myron mexicana. James A. Tuttle also indicates there is the brown form of nominate myron, seen in many of the southern counties in Florida. It must be fairly common in Hardee County, Florida as Greg Roehm also sends this image of three specimens he captured on June 7, 2011.

Darapsa myron myron trio, Wachula, Hardee County, Florida,
June 7, 2011, courtesy of Greg Roehm.

Sixty-five Sphingidae species are listed for Florida on the BAMONA website. Not all of the species are reported or anticipated in Hardee County (None are reported on Bamona as of September 19, 2011). 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 have no confirmed reports of this species in your county, but I (William Oehlke) expect that this moth is present or might be present.

A "BAMONA" indicates the moth is reported on the BAMONA website and/or in Lepidoptera of North America, #1. Distribution of Silkmoths (Saturniidae) and Hawkmoths (Sphingidae) of Eastern North America, an excellent little booklet available through Paul Opler.

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 send your sightings to BAMONA, an excellent online reource.

The night-blooming moon flower will attract many Sphingidae at dusk and into the night.

Sphinginae subfamily

Sphingini tribe:

Agrius cingulata, WO, Pink-spotted hawkmoth: Strong migrant and adults nectar from deep-throated flowers including moonflower (Calonyction aculeatum), morning glory (Convolvulus), honey suckle (Lonicera), petunia.

Ceratomia amyntor WO??, Elm Sphinx; Four-horned Sphinx: Fw upperside: brown with dark brown & white markings including white costal area near wing base, dark streaks along veins, white cell spot. Elm (Ulmus), birch (Betula), basswood (Tilia), cherry (Prunus). unlikely

Ceratomia catalpae WO, Catalpa Sphinx: Fw upperside: yellowish brown with no white markings, indistinct black lines and dashes. Cell spot: gray with black outline. Larvae feed in large groups and are much more spectacular than moths. Catalpa is the larval host.

Ceratomia undulosa WO, Waved Sphinx: Fw upperside: pale brownish gray with wavy black and white lines and black-outlined white cell spot. Hw upperside: gray with diffuse darker bands.

Cocytius antaeus, WO?? very unlikely stray Giant Sphinx: Fw upperside: blurry yellowish gray. Hw upperside: dark gray with yellow at base and dark "tooth" projecting from margin into translucent area between each vein.

Dolba hyloeus WO, 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 wings.

Isoparce cupressi WO, Cypress; Baldcypress Sphinx: Isoparce cupressi, the rare Cypress Sphinx, flies in Cypress swamps in Georgia (specimen type locality), and from Maryland to Texas. It has been reported in Mexico.

Lapara coniferarum WO, Southern Pine Sphinx: Fw upperside: gray with two (sometimes one or three) black dashes near wing center; other markings usually diffuse. Hw upperside: uniform brown-gray. If you've got pines, this species is likely present.

Manduca jasminearum WO, 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 WO, Five-spotted Hawkmoth: If you grow tomatoes, you might encounter Manduca quinquemaculatus.

Manduca rustica WO/GR, Rustic Sphinx: Look for three large yellow spots on each side of abdomen. Fw upperside: yellowish brown to deep chocolate brown with dusting of white scales and zigzagged black and white lines.

Manduca rustica, Wauchula, August, 28, 2013, Greg Roehm.

Manduca sexta WO/GR, 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.

Manduca sexta, Wauchula, June 6, 2011, Greg Roehm.

Paratrea plebeja WO, 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 gordius WO, Apple Sphinx: The upperside of the forewing ranges from brown with black borders through brownish gray with paler borders to pale gray with no borders.

Smerinthini Tribe:

Amorpha juglandis WO, Walnut Sphinx: Highly variable; sometimes wings may be all one color or may have several colors, ranging from pale to dark brown, may have white or pink tinge. Patterns range from faint to pronounced. Ffemale is different.

Paonias excaecata WO, Blinded Sphinx:> Dull grey-blue spot (minus dark pupil) in hindwing, Wide distribution in the eastern United States. I regularly see them on Prince Edward Island, reported as far south as southern Florida.

Paonias myops WO, Small-eyed Sphinx: Named for small eye-spot in hindwing, wide distribution, probably present in your county.I regularly see them on Prince Edward Island, and they are reported as far south as southern Florida.

Smerinthus jamaicensis WO??, generally more northerly, Twin-spotted Sphinx: Widely distributed; fairly common. Along the East Coast, it flies from P.E.I. to Florida. slight possibility, generally more northerly

Protambulyx strigilis WO, Streaked Sphinx: Fw inner margin indented. Fw upperside: pale yellowish gray in pale form and reddish brown in dark form. Both forms have distinct submarginal line and dark band along indentation in inner margin. Listed as carteri on BAMONA.

Macroglossinae subfamily

Dilophonotini tribe:

Aellopos tantalus WO, Tantalus Sphinx: Body: reddish brown with wide white band across abdomen. Fw upperside: reddish brown with black cell spot, 3 white spots near gray marginal area. Pale streak runs from cell spot to inner margin of wing.

Callionima falcifera WO?? unlikely,

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

Enyo lugubris, Mournful Sphinx, WO/GR: Body, wings: dark brown. Fw has large black patch covering most of outer half of wing. Pale tan cell spot (dark inner pupil), and fairly straight median line to inside of cell spot.

Enyo lugubris, Wauchula, August 30, 2013, Greg Roehm.

Erinnyis alope WO, the Alope Sphinx

The upperside of the forewing is dark brown with short yellowish streaks on the forward half and wavy yellowish bands on the rear half.

Erinnyis ello WO, Ello Sphinx: The abdomen has very distinct gray and black bands. The female's forewing upperside is pale gray with a few dark dots near the outer margin.

Erinnyis lassauxi WO, Dominican Sphinx: This moth flies in Haiti and Jamaica south to Paraguay and Bolivia with occasional sightings in Texas and Arizona, and possibly Florida.

Erinnyis obscura, Obscure Sphinx, WO: 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. possibility

Eupyrrhoglossum sagra, Cuban Sphinx, WO: The wide brown band down the center of the creamy-grey thorax and uppe rhalf of the abdomen, as well as the bright hindwing yellow band clearly distinguish this species.

See Hemaris comparison to help distinguish the next two species.

Hemaris thysbe WO, 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.

Hemaris gracilis WO, Slender Clearwing; Graceful Clearwing: This day-flying moth is less common and has not been recorded in Manatee County, but it may be present. unlikely

Madoryx pseudothyreus WO, False-windowed Sphinx: The wing margins are scalloped. The upperside of the forewing is brown with dark brown and tan markings. The forewing has a V-shaped white spot near the center of the costa.

Pachylia ficus, Fig Sphinx, WO: Fw upperside: orangish brown with paler patch along costa at tip. Hw upperside: orange to orangish brown with black outer border, black median band, and white spot on outer margin near body.

Phryxus caicus, the Caicus Sphinx, WO: The abdomen of the Caicus sphinx has distinct black and tan bands. The upperside of the forewing is brown with a tan band along the inner margin and a thin tan streak in the middle of the wing.

Pseudosphinx tetrio, Tetrio Sphinx, WO: Fw upperside: dark brown with dark spot at base of costa, blurry gray and white markings. Hw upperside:dark brown with white along inner margin, and lower half of outer margin. big, colourful larva

Philampelini tribe:

Eumorpha achemon WO, the 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 WO/GR, Banded Sphinx:Upperside: dark pinkish brown. Each forewing has lighter brown band along costa, sharp pinkish white bands and streaks. Primrose-willow, Ludwigia (water primrose), other plants in evening primrose family.

Eumorpha fasciatus, Wauchula, June 7, 2011, Greg Roehm.

Eumorpha pandorus WO, 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.

Macroglossini tribe:

Amphion floridensis WO/GR, Nessus Sphinix: Day flier; widely distributed. If you have Virginia Creeper, you probably have Nessus Sphinx. Two bright, distinct, narrow yellow bands are often visible on the abdomen.

Amphion floridensis, Wauchula, August, 28, 2013, Greg Roehm.

Cautethia grotei WO, Grote's Sphinx: Fw upperside: pale silvery gray with black markings; wing base may be very dark. Hw upperside: deep yellow-orange with black border that covers less than half wing. Rarely recorded in U.S., with sightings from FL, SC, NJ, NY, MA, NH, with northen sightings being rare strays.

Darapsa choerilus WO, the 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 WO/GR, Virginia Creeper Sphinx; Grapevine Sphinx: If you have creeper or grape, you probably have this species nearby. Lower wings: orange. Forewings either greenish with bold but diffuse markings, or brownish with very pale markings.

Darapsa myron myron, brown forms, Wauchula, Hardee County, Florida, June 7, 2011, early June, 2012, Greg Roehm.

Darapsa versicolor WO, Hydrangea Sphinx: If you have hydrangea growing near a stream, then you might have the Hydrangea Sphinx.

Hyles lineata WO, 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 wing tip to base, and white streaks along veins.

Xylophanes tersa WO/GR, Tersa Sphinx: The upperside of the forewing is pale brown with lavender-gray at the base and has dark brown lengthwise lines throughout. This moth is a strong migrant.

Xylophanes tersa, Wauchula, August, 28, 2013, Greg Roehm.

Xylophanes pluto WO// unlikely stray, Pluto Sphinx: The upperside of the forewing is olive green with a paler median band and pale lines with purple shading along them. The upperside of the hindwing has a white spot surrounded by black at the base, a wide orangish yellow median band, and a brown to greenish band along the outer margin.

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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