Manitoba, Canada

Hyles lineata, St. Andrews, Manitoba,
August 16, 2010, courtesy of Andy & Patty Simmons, and Robert Snyder.

This page is inspired by and dedicated to Andy & Patty Simmons of St. Andrews, Manitoba, and Robert Snyder of Grand Rapids, Manitoba. Robert sent me email correspondence, requesting id assistance on beautiful images provided by Andy & Patty Simmons.

Thirty-two Sphingidae species are listed for Manitoba, based on communication from Gary Anweiler, Alberta Lepidopterists' Guild who provided the Rev. Ron Hooper list. Richard Westwood, Dept. of Biology, University of Winnipeg, provided some additional sightings, some of ray strays.

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.

Many thanks to Tina August who provides the following image of Eumorpha achemon from Brandon, Manitoba.

Eumorpha achemon, Brandon, Manitoba,
August 10, 2013, courtesy of Tina August.

Tina writes, "Hi there,
"I wanted to share these photos with you of my fearless daughter who loves moths. She found this one and nicknamed her McKayla the moth. I posted it online and a friend sent me to your website. This picture was taken in Brandon, Manitoba, Canada.
"Could you please confirm what kind of moth this is? We have never see one like this.
"Kind regards,
"Tina August"

I reply,
"Hi Tina,
"Mckayla the moth is Eumorpha achemon, one of the Sphingidae. This species is not often seen in Manitoba, but can be quite common further to the south in most of the United States.
"Thanks for thinking of me and sharing the images you sent.
"Bill Oehlke"

Sphinginae subfamily

Sphingini tribe:

Agrius cingulata as a stray only, Pink-spotted Hawkmoth stray

This moth is a very strong flier, but would only make its way to Manitoba as a rare stray.

Ceratomia amyntor, the Elm Sphinx or Four-horned Sphinx: The upperside of the forewing is brown with dark brown and white markings including a white costal area near the wing base, dark streaks along the veins, and a white spot in the cell. southern half of Manitoba

Ceratomia catalpae stray, the Catalpa Sphinx: 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.
might be a casual breeder in southeastern Manitoba

Ceratomia undulosa abundant, the Waved Sphinx: The upperside of the forewing is pale brownish gray with wavy black and white lines and a black-outlined white cell spot. The upperside of the hindwing is gray with diffuse darker bands. southern half

Lapara bombycoides, Northern Pine Sphinx: The upperside of the forewing is gray with heavy black bands. The upperside of the hindwing is brownish gray with no markings. If you have pines, you probably have this species.

Lintneria eremitus present, Hermit Sphinx:

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. Southeastern Manitoba only.

Manduca quinquemaculatus, Five-spotted Hawkmoth: Abdomen usually has five but sometimes six pairs of yellow bands. Fw upperside: blurry brown and gray. I suspect if you grow tomatoes, you are likely to encounter it in extreme southwestern Manitoba.

Sphinx canadensis, Sphinx canadensis, the Canadian Sphinx, is not common, and is not often reported anywhere.

Larval hosts are white ash (Fraxinus americana) and blueberry (Vaccinium). southeast

Sphinx chersis, the Northern Ash Sphinx or Great Ash Sphinx: This species is present and is probably common. Larval hosts are ash, lilac, privet, cherry, and quaking aspen. southern fifth

Sphinx drupiferarum, Wild Cherry Sphinx: Fw: dull slate grey with considerable light grey scaling in broad band along costa about 3/4 of distance from body toward apex. Median lines: black, thin. Wavy, diffuse dark subterminal line, inwardly bordered by white, and whitish bar in terminal area, paralleling outer margin. southern half of Manitoba

Sphinx gordius probably poecila, the 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. southern quarter

Sphinx poecila WO, Poecila Sphinx: FW fringes checkered black and white, almost pure white (lightly checked with grey) on HW. FW dark gray with diffuse black, gray wavy lines with series of black dashes ending at wing tip, and white cell spot which readily distinguishes poecila from canadensis. HW brownish gray with wide black border, black median line.

Sphinx kalmiae , the 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. siouthern quarter

Sphinx luscitiosa , Canadian Sphinx; Clemen's Sphinx: Fw upperside: yellowish gray in males; pale gray with faint yellow tint in females. Dark border on outer margin widens as it approaches i. m.. Hw upperside: deep yellow in males, pale yellow in females; both with wide black border.

Sphinx poecila abundant, the Poecila Sphinx

If you have blueberries in the woods, then you might have the Poecila Sphinx. They are pretty common here on Prince Edward Island. widespread

Sphinx vashti WO?, Snowberry Sphinx: Snowberry Sphinx adults fly as a single brood 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. extreme southwest only

Smerinthini Tribe:

Amorpha juglandis common, the Walnut Sphinx: 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.

Pachysphinx modesta common, the Modest Sphinx or Poplar Sphinx
This moth is recorded regularly in Ontario. Its larvae are fond of poplars and willows.
at least as far north as The Pas. They are common on Prince Edward Island.

Paonias excaecata common, the Blinded Sphinx

Named for the dull grey-blue spot (minus dark pupil) in the hindwing, this moth has a wide distribution and is common in Ontario.
I regularly see them on Prince Edward Island, and they are reported as far south as Florida.

Paonias myopscommon, the Small-eyed Sphinx

Named for the small eye-spot in the hindwing, this moth has a wide distribution and is probably common in Ontario.

I regularly see them on Prince Edward Island, and they are reported as far south as Florida.

Smerinthus cerisyi common, the Cerisyi's Sphinx
Smerinthus cerisyi is found in the southern regions of all Canadian provinces and in northern border states. The one-eyed sphinx is also found along the U.S. west coast, eastward to the Rockies. At my home in Montague, P.E.I., Canada, they are quite common.

Smerinthus jamaicensis common, the Twin-spotted Sphinx: This moth is widely distributed and fairly common.

Along the East Coast, it flies from P.E.I. to Florida. I suspect it is present.

Macroglossinae subfamily

Dilophonotini tribe:

Aellopos titan rare migrant, stray, the Titan Sphinx. possible stray
The body is dark brown with a wide white stripe across the abdomen. The wings are dark brown. The upperside of the hindwing has pale patches along the costa and inner margin.

See Hemaris comparison to help distinguish the next three species.

Hemaris thysbe common, the 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. widespread

Hemaris diffinis common, the Snowberry Clearwing or Bumblebee Moth
Adults mimic bumblebees and are quite variable. The wings are basically clear, with dark brown to brownish-orange veins, bases and edges. The thorax is golden-brown to dark greenish-brown with 1-2 yellow segments on the abdomen. southern half

Hemaris gracilis present, the Slender Clearwing or Graceful Clearwing

This day-flying moth is less common. widespread

Philampelini tribe:

Eumorpha achemon rare, extreme south, the Achemon Sphinx: Note the differences between this moth and the Pandorus Sphinx (not reported thus far in Manitoba).

Eumorpha achemon, Brandon, August 10, 2013, Tina August

Eumorpha labruscae the Gaudy Sphinx: The Gaudy Sphinx flies in America, and although primarily a tropical species, it has been taken as far north as Saskatchewan and Manitoba as a stray. Forewings are a vibrant grey-green.

Macroglossini tribe:

Amphion floridensis common, the Nessus Sphinix

If you have Virginia Creeper, you probably have the Nessus Sphinx.
Two bright, distinct, narrow yellow bands are often visible on the abdomen. southeastern

Darapsa choerilus common, the Azalea Sphinx

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.
It is confirmed for Ontario. southern third

Darapsa myron present, the Virginia Creeper Sphinx or the 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 species nearby. south central

Hyles euphorbiae introduced, the Leafy Spurge Hawkmoth

This species has been introduced into Ontario to try to control the spread of leafy spurge. southern

Hyles gallii, the Bedstraw Hawk Moth or Gallium Sphinx

This species is reported in Ontario.

Some years I see them on P.E.I., some years, I do not. widespread

Hyles lineata irregular migrant, the White-lined Sphinx: This species is reported from Manitoba. It flies across southern New York and has strong migrating tendancies. There are records from New Hampshire and Maine. extreme south

Proserpinus flavofasciata present, the Yellow-banded Day Sphinx

This day flier is officially reported from Ontario, but it maynot be common. Look for them in meadows near coniferous forests. widespread

Proserpinus juanita, 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.
extreme southwest

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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