Created/dedicated as per personal communication with Carl F. Guerci Jr. and Meredith King; July 2006
Updated as per USGS, August 2007
Updated as per James P. Tuttle's The Hawk Moths of North America; August 2007
Updated as per personal communication with Steve Collins, October 1, 2007
Updated as per personal communication with David F. Brinker, October 2008
Updated as per personal communication with Jason Ott, August 30, 2013
Updated as per personal communication with Jaquetta Ricks (Eumorpha pandorus, Essex, July 22, 2014), July 23, 2014

Baltimore County, Maryland

Eumorpha pandorus, 17 July 2006, Middle River, Maryland, just east of Baltimore,
courtesy of Carl F. Guerci Jr.

This page is inspired by and dedicated to Carl F. Guerci Jr. and Meredith King, two Baltimore County residents, who sent me the Eumorpha pandorus and Amorpha juglandis images, top and bottom of this page.

Twenty Sphingidae species are listed for Maryland on the U.S.G.S. website as of August 2007. Not all of the species are reported or anticipated in Baltimore County (four are reported on U.S.G.S. as of August 2007). 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. I have added quite a few speciesto the Maryland list.

A "USGS" 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 (formerly USGS), an excellent online resource.

Visit Baltimore County Sphingidae Larvae: Caterpillars; Hornworms

Visit Maryland Catocala: Underwing Moths.

Many thanks to Jason Ott who provides the following image from Locust Point.

Eumorpha pandorus, Locust Point, Baltimore County, Maryland,
August 30, 2013, courtesy of Jason Ott.

Many thanks to Jaquetta Ricks who provides the following image from Essex.

Eumorpha pandorus, Essex, Baltimore County, Maryland,
July 22, 2014, courtesy of Jaquetta Ricks.

Sphinginae subfamily

Sphingini tribe:

Agrius cingulata, 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.

Agrius cingulata larva, Catonsvile, October 2008, David F. Brinker

Ceratomia amyntor WO, 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).

Ceratomia catalpae WO, 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.

Ceratomia undulosa WO, Waved 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.

Dolba hyloeus 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.

Lapara bombycoides WO, 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.

Lapara coniferarum 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, 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. Larval hosts are various species of beebalm (Monarda), mints (Mentha), bugleweed (Lycopis), and sage (Salvia).

Manduca jasminearum 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.

Manduca quinquemaculatus USGS, Five-spotted Hawkmoth: 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.

Manduca rustica 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. unlikely possibility

Manduca sexta 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.

Paratrea plebeja 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

Sphinx chersis WO, 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.

Sphinx drupiferarum WO, Wild Cherry Sphinx: Forewings, long and slender, are held close to the body when the moth is at rest.

Sphinx franckii WO, Franck's Sphinx Moth:

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.

Sphinx gordius WO, 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. Dashes, submarginal line, and cell spot are usually weak.

Sphinx kalmiae 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.

Smerinthini Tribe:

Amorpha juglandis MK, Walnut Sphinx: 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.

Pachysphinx modesta WO, 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.

Paonias astylus 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, Blinded Sphinx: 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.

Smerinthus jamaicensis USGS, Twin-spotted Sphinx: Closely resembles Smerinthus cerisyi, but jamaicensis is much smaller with larger blue patches on more vibrant and deeper purple in the lower wings.

Macroglossinae subfamily

Dilophonotini tribe:

See Hemaris comparison to help distinguish the next three species.

Hemaris thysbe 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, 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

Philampelini tribe:

Eumorpha achemon 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 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 fasciatus mature larva on water primrose, October 1, 2007, Steve Collins

Eumorpha pandorus CFG&MK/JO/JR/BM, the Pandorus Sphinx: If you have Grape or Virginia Creeper nearby, then you probably have this species.

Eumorpha pandorus, Middle River, 17 July 2006, Carl F. Guercy and Meredith King.
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.

Macroglossini tribe:

Amphion floridensis 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.

Darapsa choerilus 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.

Darapsa myron WO, Virginia Creeper Sphinx; Grapevine Sphinx: The forewing upperside is dark brown to pale yellowish gray, with an olive tint. On the costal margin there is dark rectangular patch, although this may be reduced or absent. Upperside of hindwing is pale orange.

Darapsa versicolor WO, 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.

Deidamia inscriptum USGS, 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

Hyles lineata 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.

Sphecodina abbottii WO, Abbott's Sphinx: 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.

Xylophanes tersa WO, Tersa Sphinx: 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.

Amorpha juglandis, July 29, 2007, Hereford/Parkton, Baltimore County, Maryland,
courtesy of Meredith King.

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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