Created/dedicated as per personal communication with Kristine White, September 16, 2013
Updated as per James P. Tuttle's The Hawk Moths of North America, September 16, 2013
Updated as per BAMONA, September 16, 2013
Porter County, Northern Indiana
Hyles lineata larva, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana,
September 16, 2013, courtesy of the Kristine White.
For care of "found larvae/caterpillars" visit Manduca sexta larva, central Texas, August 21, 2008, Trina Woodall.
This page is inspired by and dedicated to Kristine White who sent the sighting and image of an
Hyles lineata larvae in Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana.
Kristine writes, "I'm curious... Found him on my drive... What is he?"
I reply, "Hyles lineata, the White-lined Sphinx. Can you provide Indiana County and grant permission to post image, credited to you, to a webpage?"
Thirty-three Sphingidae species are listed for Indiana on the BAMONA website.
Not all of the species are reported or anticipated in Porter County (Seven are reported on BAMONA as of September 16, 2013). 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.
A "BAMONA" indicates the moth is reported on the USGS 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 on-line resource.
Visit Porter County Sphingidae: Adult Moths.
Visit Indiana Catocala: Underwing Moths.
Ceratomia amyntor BAMONA, Elm Sphinx, Four-horned Sphinx:
Both brown and green forms and are unmistakeable
due to four horns on the thorax (near the head).
Larvae feed on Elm (Ulmus), birch (Betula), basswood (Tilia), and
Ceratomia catalpae WO, Catalpa Sphinx:
This caterpillar is one of the few North American Sphingidae that
feed in large groups. Colouration is distinctive. The larvae
are much more spectacular than the moths. Catalpa is the larval host.
Ceratomia hageni WO, Hagen's Sphinx, Osage Orange Sphinx:
Larvae feed on osage orange (Maclura pomifera), and they have a granulous appearance with variable amounts of purple
along the oblique white stripes.
Ceratomia undulosa WO, Waved Sphinx:
Note the pinkish-orange tail, spiracles outlined in red and the cream
stripes on the head.
The dramatic color change from the dorsal
yellow-green to the lateral light greyish-blue is not always
as intense as in this image.
Dolba hyloeus WO, Pawpaw Sphinx:
Note the smooth skin, blue-black horn and small black spiracles.
Pawpaw is the primary host. Littleleaf sweetfern, possum haw,
inkberry, tall gallberry holly and others are also utilized.
Lapara bombycoides BAMONA, Northern Pine Sphinx:
Without the anal horn and feeds on pines.
The long stripes and reddish brown afford great camouflage.
Lintneria eremitus WO, Hermit Sphinx:
Note triangular bump on the thorax.
Larval hosts are various species of beebalm (Monarda), mints (Mentha), bugleweed (Lycopis),
and sage (Salvia).
Manduca quinquemaculatus WO, Five-spotted Hawkmoth:
Note the solid black horn and dark spiracular rings. In addition to the white oblique lines, there are fainter white rings, especially on the back.
I suspect if you grow tomatoes, you are likely to encounter it.
Manduca sexta WO, Carolina Sphinx: Note the red horn and black dots anterior to the white oblique
lines. If you grow tomatoes, you have probably encountered it.
Paratrea plebeja WO, Plebeian Sphinx:
Feed at night, hiding on nderside of stems during the
day. Common trumpetcreeper (Campsis radicans),
Florida yellow-trumpet (Tecoma stans), lilac
(Syringa species), passionflower (Passiflora species).
WO, Canadian Sphinx:
Uncommon at lights, not often reported anywhere.
Larval host may be exclusively black ash (Fraxinus nigra).
Variable appearance but always with granulous (darker protrusions) on pinkish horn.
Northern Ash Sphinx, Great Ash Sphinx: Pale blue horn, creamy-white stripes on head.
Yellow form has red horn.
Ash, lilac, privet, cherry and quaking aspen.
WO, Wild Cherry Sphinx:
Larvae hide by day. Cherry, plum, and apple
at night. Amelanchier nantuckensis
in Massachusetts; Michigan on Prunus serotina. Note purple oblique lines.
USGS, Franck's Sphinx Moth:
Larvae feed exclusively on various species of ash (Fraxinus).
Raised, pointed bumps, especially near the head and thorax give this
caterpillar a reptilian appearance.
WO, Apple Sphinx:
Apple (Malus), sweetfern (Myrica),
Carolina rose (Rosa carolina), blueberry and huckleberry
(Vaccinium), white spruce (Picea glauca), American
larch (Larix laricina), alder (Alnus).
Sphinx kalmiae WO, Laurel Sphinx:
In the final instar, the black on the head, lateral lines, horn and on abdominal
legs is diagnostic.
Larvae feed primarily on lilac and fringe.
WO, Walnut Sphinx:
Amorpha juglandis larvae feed upon Walnut and butternut (Juglans),
hickory (Carya), alder (Alnus), beech (Fagus),
hazelnut (Corylus), and hop-hornbeam (Ostrya).
WO, the Blinded Sphinx:
Larvae accept willows, birches, and cherries.
I have also found them in the wild on oak in eastern Canada.
BAMONA, Small-eyed Sphinx:
Wild cherry species are the favorites as larval foodplants, but eggs
will also be deposited on birches and other forest trees.
There are varying degrees in the amount of red markings along the sides.
BAMONA, Twin-spotted Sphinx:
Larvae feed upon many forest trees including birches and cherries,
but are expecially fond of poplars and willows. Red markings on sides
vary greatly from specimen to specimen.
BAMONA, Hummingbird Clearwing: Orangey-pink prepupal form. The lateral line runs
from S1 to the blue horn.
Viburnum and related plants.
WO, Snowberry Clearwing:
honeysuckle (Lonicera), Coralberry, viburnums, Blue Dogbane
(Apocynum), dwarf bush honeysuckle (Diervilla lonicera).
Horn: black; yellow base.
WO, Achemon Sphinx:
Larvae feed upon Grape (Vitis), Virginia Creeper
(Parthenocissus quinquefolia) and other vines and ivies
(Ampelopsis). Both a light (green) form and a darker (tan/brown)
form. Note six "segmented" oblique lines.
WO, the Pandorus Sphinx:
If you have Grape or Virginia Creeper nearby, then you might encounter
this species. Note the five large white ovals (orangey-brown in green form).
There are orangey-brown and green
WO, Nessus Sphinix:
In additon to Virginia creeper larvae accept Grape (Vitis),
ampelopsis (Ampelopsis), and cayenne pepper (Capsicum).
Larvae are green until the final instar.
WO, Azalea Sphinx:
Azalea, Viburnum; progress very rapidly.
Larva, left, on Viburnum cassinoides is getting ready to
pupate. Color change from green to light burgundy-brown indicates
Darapsa myron WO, Virginia Creeper Sphinx,
Grapevine Sphinx: If you have foodplants indicated in common names, you probably have myron.
Lower wings: orange.
Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia),
Grape (Vitis), Ampelopsis, Viburnum.
Darapsa versicolor WO, Hydrangea Sphinx:
Smooth hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens),
buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis), waterwillow
Note small head which can be retracted into thorax.
WO, Lettered Sphinx:
Grape (Vitis), ampelopsis (Ampelopsis),
Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus). The alternating yellow and greyish-green rings across the back distinguish this larva.
KW/BAMONA, White-lined Sphinx:
Highly varied. Willow weed (Epilobium), four o'clock (Mirabilis),
apple (Malus), evening primrose (Oenothera), elm
(Ulmus), grape (Vitis), tomato (Lycopersicon),
purslane (Portulaca), Fuschia.
Red/black swellings split by dorso-lateral lines.
WO, Abbott's Sphinx:
Larvae feed at night on grape (Vitis) and ampelopsis
(Ampelopsis) and hide on the bark of their host plants during
the day. Virginia creeper would also be a suitable host. Also dark form
without green patches. Note "raised eye", replacing anal horn.
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.
This website has been created and is maintained by Bill Oehlke without government or institutional financial assistance. All expenses, ie., text reference
support material, webspace rental from Bizland, computer repairs/replacements, backups systems, software for image adjustments (Adobe Photoshop; L-View),
ftp software, anti-virus protection, scanner, etc. are my own.
I very much appreciate all the many images that have been sent to me, or of which I have been granted permission to copy and post from other websites.
All images on this site remain the property of respective photographers.
If you would like to contribute to the maintenace of this website by sending a contribution to
155 Peardon Road
Montague, Prince Edward Island, C0A1R0
your donation would be much appreciated and would be used for
1) paying for webspace rental;
2) paying for computer maintenance and software upgrades;
3) purchases of additional text reference material (journals and books) in anticipation of expanding the site to a worldwide Sphingidae site;
4) helping to pay my daughter's tuition (completed spring 2013); with anything left over going to humanitarian aid.
If you are mailing a check from USA, please use $1.10 postage (2013 rate). Donations can also be made through Paypal via the button below.