Agrius cingulata larva, Catonsvile, October 2008, David F. Brinker
WO/DFB Pink-spotted hawkmoth:
Very strong flier, but would likely only make its way to
Baltimore County occasionally. Very few records for Maryland.
Generally a more southerly species, but it is known to breed in southern Maryland.
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, 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.
Sphinx:The upperside of the forewing is pale brownish gray with wavy black
and white lines and a black-outlined white cell spot.
It is named for the wavy lines on the forewings.
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.
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.
USGS, Southern Pine Sphinx:
Fw upperside: gray with two (sometimes one or
three) black dashes near wing center; other markings are usually
diffuse. Hw upperside: uniform brown-gray.
Lintneria eremitus WO,
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.
Larval hosts are various species of beebalm (Monarda), mints (Mentha), bugleweed (Lycopis),
and sage (Salvia).
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.
Abdomen usually has five but sometimes six pairs of yellow
bands. The upperside of the forewing is blurry brown and gray.
I suspect if you grow tomatoes, you are likely to encounter it.
WO, the Rustic Sphinx:
The abdomen of the adult moth has three pairs of yellow spots. The
upperside of the forewing is yellowish brown to deep chocolate brown
with a dusting of white scales and zigzagged black and white lines.
WO, Carolina Sphinx:
The abdomen usually has six pairs of yellow bands, broken across the
back. The sixth set of markings is quite small.
The upperside of the forewing has indistinct black, brown, and white
markings. If you grow tomatoes, you have probably encountered it.
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.Questionable
Northern Ash Sphinx; 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.
Wild Cherry Sphinx: Forewings, long and slender, are held close to the body when the moth
is at rest.
The outer margins of the forewings are slightly concave in the
male, but not in the female. The costal half of the forewings are
grey, but the posterior portion is a distinctive warm yellowish-brown.
The upperside of the forewing ranges from brown with black borders
through brownish gray with paler borders to pale gray with no borders.
Dashes, submarginal line, and cell spot are usually weak.
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.
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. Patterns range from
faint to pronounced.
See the file for different female.
Modest Sphinx; Poplar Sphinx:
Not officially recorded in Baltimore County. It is fond
of poplars and willows. This moth has a large, heavy body, and females can be remarkably plump.
WO, Huckleberry Sphinx:
Both sexes rest with wings parallel to resting surface, with upper lobes of hindwings protruding above forewings.
Male's lower abdomen arcs upward toward head, while female abdomen hangs strait down on vertical surface.
Paonias excaecata WO,
Fw outer margin: quite wavy. Dark cell spot and dark oblique line mid wing from costa almost to
inner margin. Basic ground colour is pinkish brown.
Paonias myops WO, Small-eyed Sphinx:
Named for the small eye-spot in the hindwing, this moth has a wide distribution. Both sexes rest with wings parallel to the resting
surface, with the upper lobes of the hindwings protruding above the forewings.
Closely resembles Smerinthus cerisyi, but jamaicensis is much smaller with larger blue patches on more
vibrant and deeper purple in the lower wings.
See Hemaris comparison to help distinguish
the next three 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.
Snowberry Clearwing; Bumblebee Moth:
Adults mimic bumblebees; quite variable, both geographically
and seasonally. Wings: basically clear, with dark brown to
brownish-orange veins, bases, edges. Thorax: golden-brown to dark greenish-brown.
Hemaris gracilis WO,
Slender Clearwing; Graceful Clearwing:
Distinguished from similar species by a pair of
red-brown bands on the undersides of the thorax, which varies from
green to yellow-green dorsally and sometimes brown with white
underneath. They have a red abdomen. unlikely
WO, Achemon Sphinx: This moth is not officially reported for Baltimore County, but
it is fairly often reported along the coast from southern New Jersey
to central Maine.
Eumorpha fasciatus mature larva on water primrose, October 1, 2007, Steve Collins
SC, Banded Sphinx:
Upperside: dark pinkish brown. Each forewing has
lighter brown band along costa, sharp pinkish white bands and
streaks. Larvae feed upon primrose-willow, Ludwigia (water primrose)
and other plants in evening primrose family.
Eumorpha pandorus, Middle River, 17 July 2006, Carl F. Guercy and Meredith King.
CFG&MK/JO/JR/BM, the Pandorus Sphinx:
If you have Grape or Virginia Creeper nearby, then you probably have
Eumorpha pandorus, Locust Point, August 30, 2013, Jason Ott.
Eumorpha pandorus, Essex, July 22, 2014, Jaquetta Ricks.
Eumorpha pandorus, Timonium, July 19, 2017, Benjamin Morgan.
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.
WO, 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.
They are common
in Hunterdon County.
WO, Virginia Creeper Sphinx; Grapevine Sphinx:
The forewing upperside is dark brown to pale yellowish gray, with an
On the costal margin there is dark rectangular patch, although this
may be reduced or absent. Upperside of hindwing is pale
the Hydrangea Sphinx:
If you have hydrangea growing near a stream, then you may have the
Hydrangea Sphinx. The forewing upperside is often greenish brown
with curved dark lines and pinkish-white patches.
the Lettered Sphinx:
The moth's outer margin of the forewing is deeply scalloped.
The upperside is light brown with dark brown markings.
There is a small black and white spot near the tip
WO, White-lined Sphinx:
Fw upperside: dark olive brown with paler brown along
costa and outer margin, narrow tan band running from wing tip
to base, white streaks along veins.
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 and Virginia Creeper are popular larval hosts.
The upperside of the forewing is pale brown with lavender-gray at the
base and has dark brown lengthwise lines throughout. The upperside of
the hindwing is dark brown with a band of whitish, wedge-shaped marks.