Strong migrant; adults nectar from
deep-throated flowers including moonflower (Calonyction aculeatum),
morning glory (Convolvulus), honey suckle (Lonicera), petunia (Petunia species).
the Elm Sphinx or 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.
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. The larvae feed in large groups and are much more
spectacular than the moths.
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.
WO, Waved Sphinx:
Pale (sometmes dark) brownish gray with wavy black and white lines and black-outlined white cell spot. Hindwing is gray with diffuse darker bands.
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
WO, Cypress or Baldcypress Sphinx:
Rare Cypress Sphinx, flies in Cypress swamps in Georgia (specimen type locality), and from Maryland to Texas.
It has been reported in Mexico.
BAMONA, outhern Pine Sphinx:
Gray with two (sometimes one or three) black dashes near the wing center; other markings are usually diffuse.
The upperside of the hindwing is a uniform brown-gray.
If you've got pines, this species is likely present.
WO, Hermit Sphinx:
Gray-brown with wavy lines,
black dashes, one or two small white spots near center of
costa. Beebalm (Monarda), mints (Mentha),
bugleweed (Lycopis), sage (Salvia).
WO, Ash Sphinx:
Gray to grayish brown with black line
running from middle of costa to middle of outer
margin; line may be broken near margin. Splash of
brown around cell spot.
I suspect if you grow tomatoes, you are likely to encounter Manduca quinquemaculata.
WO, Rustic Sphinx:
Three large yellow spots
on each side of abdomen.
Yellowish brown to deep chocolate brown with dusting of white
scales and zigzagged black and white lines.
Manduca sexta, Greenwell Springs, East Baton Rouge, Frannie Mathews.
FM, 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.
WO, Plebeian Sphinx: 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.
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.
WO, Walnut Sphinx:
Highly variable; sometimes 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.
See the file for the female; she is different.
WO, Huckleberry Sphinx:
Paonias astylus flies from March-September in Florida and from
April-September in Louisiana. There is one brood northward from
This appears to be an uncommon species.
Named for the dull grey-blue spot (minus dark pupil) in hindwing,
has a wide distribution in eastern United States.
I regularly see them on Prince Edward Island; they are reported
as far south as Florida.
Paonias myops WO, Small-eyed Sphinx:
Named for the small eye-spot in the hindwing, this moth has a wide
distribution and is probably common in your parish.
I regularly see them on Prince Edward Island, and they are reported
as far south as Florida.
WO, Twin-spotted Sphinx:
This moth is widely distributed and fairly common.
Along the East Coast, it flies from P.E.I. to Florida.
Enyo lugubris, Mournful Sphinx,
Body/wings dark brown. FW: large black
patch covering most of outer half of wing. Pale
tan cell spot (dark inner pupil), and fairly straight median line
to the inside of the cell spot.
Erinnyis obscura, Obscure Sphinx,
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. remote possibility
See Hemaris comparison to help distinguish
the next two species.
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 diffinis WO, Snowberry Clearwing/Bumblebee Moth:
Adults mimic bumblebees; quite variable. Wings basically clear, with dark brown to
brownish-orange veins, bases, edges. Thorax: golden-brown to
dark greenish-brown. Abdomen tends to be dark (black) with 1-2
yellow segments before tip.
Pseudosphinx tetrio, Tetrio Sphinx,
Dark brown with a dark spot at the
base of the costa and blurry gray and white markings. The upperside
of the hindwing is dark brown with white along the inner margin, and
the lower half of the outer margin.
Larvae get large and feed on grape vines and Virginia creeper.
Note the differences between this moth and the Pandorus Sphinx.
BAMONA, Banded Sphinx:
Dark pinkish brown. Each forewing: lighter brown band along costa, sharp pinkish white bands and
streaks. Larvae feed upon primrose-willow, Ludwigia (water primrose),
other plants in evening primrose family.
WO, Intermediate Sphinx:
The Intermediate Sphinx Moth, (Eumorpha intermedia), (Wing span: 3 9/16 - 3 7/8 inches (9 - 9.8 cm)), flies in lower austral and subtropical lowlands in North Carolina, Florida,
Mississippi, Louisiana, and South Texas. posibility
BAMONA, Pandorus Sphinx:
If you have Grape or Virginia Creeper nearby, then you probably have
I often get asked to identify larvae from areas not
WO, 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.
BAMONA, 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, Virginia Creeper Sphinx/Grapevine Sphinx:
If you have the foodplants indicated in the common names, you probably have this
species nearby. The lower wings are orange.
If you have hydrangea growing near a stream, then you might have the
Fw outer margin deeply scalloped.
The upperside is light brown with dark brown markings.
Small black and white spot near tip.
Grape (Vitis), ampelopsis (Ampelopsis), Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus) all serve as larval hosts.
Hyles lineata WO, White-lined Sphinx:
This species has
strong migrating tendancies from much further south.
There are records from New Hampshire and Maine.
Rare and possibly endangered Proud Sphinx flies from Texas and
Louisiana east to northern Florida, north to Alabama, Missouri,
northern Georgia, and South Carolina. slight possibility
This moth is very much under reported across the United States. It
is a rapid day flier so is probably not in too many collections.
Grape is a popular larval host.
This moth is much more common to the south. It is a strong migrant,
however, and may establish itself in Mobile County periodically.