WO Pink-spotted hawkmoth,
Strong migrant; adults nectar from
deep-throated flowers including moonflower (Calonyction aculeatum),
morning glory (Convolvulus), honey suckle (Lonicera), petunia.
Elm Sphinx; Four-horned Sphinx: Fw upperside: brown with dark brown and white
markings including white costal area near wing base, dark
streaks along veins, and white spot in cell.
Larvae: Elm (Ulmus), birch (Betula), basswood (Tilia), cherry (Prunus).
The upperside of the forewing is yellowish brown with no white
markings, but there are indistinct black lines and dashes. The cell
spot is gray with a black outline and the upperside of the hindwing
is yellowish brown with obscure lines.
Catalpa is the larval host.
Hagen's Sphinx or Osage Orange Sphinx
The upperside of the forewing is gray with a green tint and has dark
indistinct wavy lines, and pale gray patches at the wing tip and
along the costa.
The upperside of the forewing is pale brownish gray with wavy black
and white lines and a black-outlined white cell spot.
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 the
wings. Larve are not limited to pawpaw.
Northern Pine Sphinx:
Fw upperside: gray with heavy black bands. Hw upperside: brownish gray with no markings.
If you have pines, you
might have this species. It flies on P.E.I.
The upperside of the forewing is gray-brown with wavy lines, black dashes, and
one or two small white spots near the center of the costa.
WO, the Five-spotted Hawkmoth:
This large bodied moth flies in tobacco fields and vegetable gardens
(potatoes, tomatoes) and wherever host plants are found.
BAMONA, Carolina Sphinx:
Hw upperside: banded with black and white; has
two black zigzag median lines that are very close together with
hardly any white showing between them.
Larvae get very large, can strip a tomato plant.
WO Cluentius sphinx,
blurry black with orange
markings.Hw upperside: black with orange at
base and orangish yellow patches between veins,
forming band across wing.
WO, unlikely stray.
Plebeian Sphinx: Fw upperside: 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.
Canadian Sphinx, uncommon, not often reported anywhere,
but it should be present in your county.
Larval hosts: white ash (Fraxinus americana); blueberry
WO, 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 of which reaches the wing tip.
WO, the Wild Cherry
Sphinx: Forewings, long and slender, are held close to the body when the
moth is at rest. We have them on P.E.I.,
but I do not see them nearly as frequently as I see the other Sphingidae.
Apple Sphinx: Colouration and markings are highly variable from one specimen to another.
The fringes on forewing are mostly black with some white; those on
the hindwing are mostly white with a few black patches.
WO, Laurel Sphinx:
The lower forewings are predominantly brownish-yellow with a fairly
wide dark bar along the inner margin. At rest the wings hug the body,
giving the moth a long slender look.
The upperside of the forewing is yellowish gray in males and pale
gray with a faint yellow tint in females. In both sexes, the dark
border on the outer margin widens as it approaches the inner margin.
WO, Poecila Sphinx:
If you have blueberries in the woods, then you probably have the
Sphinx vashti WO, Snowberry Sphinx:
single-brooded moths fly in montane woodlands and along prairie
streamcourses from April to August.
Fw upperside: narrow black subterminal line
bordered by white inverted V-shaped line on outside, and
black line at apex.
The adults are also highly variable; sometimes wings of an individual
may be all one color or may have several colors, ranging from pale to
dark brown, and may have a white or pink tinge.
See the file for the female; she is different.
Modest Sphinx; Poplar Sphinx:
This moth has a large, heavy body, and
females can be remarkably plump.
BAMONA, Blinded Sphinx:
Fw outer margin is quite wavy. There is a dark cell spot and a dark oblique line mid wing from the costa almost to the
inner margin. Basic ground colour is pinkish brown. Flight would be June-July.
Widespread and common. This species ranges across North America.
The hindwings have a small blue eyespot ringed with black on a yellow background.
Sphinx; One-eyed Sphinx: Poplars; willows.
Flight would be from late May-July as a single brood.
Look for incomplete light arc near forewing apex.
Look at right forewing tip where light coloration forms complete letter "c"
by meeting outer margin below apex.
Along the East Coast, it flies from P.E.I. to Florida.
WO, Titan Sphinx:
Body: dark brown with wide white stripe across abdomen.
Wings: dark brown. Very similar to other species, but
upperside of hindwing has
pale patches along costa and inner margin. unlikely
WO, Ello Sphinx:
Abdomen: very distinct gray and black bands. Female's
fw upperside: pale gray with few dark dots near outer
margin. Male's fw upperside is dark gray and brown with
a black band running from base to tip. unlikely stray
Erinnyis obscura, Obscure Sphinx,
At night adults nectar at flowers, including bouncing bet
(Saponaria officinalis); Asystasia gangetica beginning at dusk.
July and August are flight times in southern states.
See Hemaris comparison
to help distinguish the next three species.
WO, Snowberry Clearwing; Bumblebee 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.
Slender Clearwing or Graceful Clearwing:
Distinguished from similar species by pair of
red-brown bands on undersides of thorax, which varies from
green to yellow-green dorsally and sometimes brown with white
WO, the Hummingbird Clearwing:
This interesting day flier is confirmed for Cook and McHenry, and is likely common.
They are widely distributed in the east from P.E.I. to Florida.
the Achemon Sphinx:
It is fairly often reported along the east coast from southern New Jersey
to central Maine.
Note the differences between this moth and the 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 where
they have not previously been reported.
WO, Nessus Sphinix:
Widely distributed day flier. If you have Virginia Creeper,
you probably have the Nessus Sphinx. Two bright, distinct, narrow
yellow bands are often visible on the abdomen.
They are common in New Jersey and common
here on Prince Edward Island.
You will often see this species listed as Darapsa pholus,
especially in older literature.
WO, Virginia Creeper Sphinx;
Grapevine Sphinx: It is widely reported as far north as southern Maine. If you have the
foodplants indicated in the common names, you probably have this
the Hydrangea Sphinx:
If you have hydrangea growing near a stream, then you may have the
probably is uncommon.
the Lettered Sphinx:
Fw outer margin: deeply scalloped.
The upperside is light brown with dark brown markings.
There is small black and white spot near tip.
Hw upperside is orange-brown with dark brown
outer margin and median line.
WO, Bedstraw Hawk Moth;
Not confirmed, but it might be present.
Some years I see them on P.E.I., some years, I do not.
Hyles lineata, Genoa, August 27, 2013, courtesy of Don Perry.
DP/BAMONA, White-lined Sphinx:
Adults usually fly at dusk, during the night, and at dawn, but they
also fly during day over wide variety of open habitats: deserts, suburbs, gardens.
WO, the Abbott's Sphinx:
This moth is very much under reported on USGS. It is a
rapid day flier so is probably not in too many collections.
Grape is a popular larval host.
WO, possible stray, generally more southerly,
the Tersa Sphinx:
The upperside of the forewing is pale brown with lavender-gray at the
base and has dark brown lengthwise lines throughout.