Updated as per James P. Tuttle's The Hawk Moths of North America, February 27, 2009
Garrett County, Maryland
Eumorpha pandorus, 17 July 2006, Middle River, Maryland
just east of Baltimore,
Twenty Sphingidae species are listed for Maryland on the U.S.G.S. website (Now BAMONA) as of August 2007. Not all of the species are
reported or anticipated in Garrett County (none 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.
courtesy of Carl F. Guerci Jr.
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 species to 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.
Visit Garrett County Sphingidae Larvae: Caterpillars; Hornworms
Visit Maryland Catocala: Underwing Moths.
Visit Ontario Catocala at bait and in flight, courtesy of Tim Dyson.
Agrius cingulata, WO Pink-spotted hawkmoth,
stray: This moth is a very strong flier, but would only make its way to
Baltimore County as a rare stray. There are very few records for Maryland.
WO, 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.
Larvae feed on Elm (Ulmus), birch (Betula), basswood (Tilia), and
Ceratomia catalpae WO, 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.
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, the 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 WO, Southern Pine Sphinx:
The upperside is of the forewing is 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.
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 quinquemaculata WO, Five-spotted Hawkmoth:
The moth 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, 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, the 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, though.
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 or 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.
WO, 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.
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.
Amorpha juglandis WO, 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. Patterns range from faint to pronounced. Female is different.
Pachysphinx modesta WO, Modest Sphinx; Poplar Sphinx:
This moth is 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, the Huckleberry Sphinx:
Both sexes rest with wings parallel to the resting surface, with the upper lobes of the hindwings protruding above the forewings. The lower abdomen of the male arcs
upward toward the head, while the abdomen of the female hangs strait down on a vertical surface.
Paonias excaecata WO,
the Blinded Sphinx :
The outer margin of the forewing is quite wavy. There is a dark cell
spot and a dark oblique line mid wing from the costa almost to the
inner margin. Basic ground colour is pinkish brown.
Paonias myops WO, the 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.
the Twin-spotted Sphinx:
Smerinthus jamaicensis 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.
Hemaris thysbe WO, 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.
Hemaris diffinis SC, Snowberry Clearwing; Bumblebee Moth:
Adults mimic bumblebees and are quite variable, both geographically and seasonally. The wings are basically clear, with dark brown to
brownish-orange veins, bases and edges. The thorax is golden-brown to dark greenish-brown.
Hemaris gracilis WO, Slender Clearwing or Graceful Clearwing:
Hemaris gracilis is 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
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.
Note the differences between this moth and the Pandorus Sphinx.
WO, the Pandorus Sphinx:
If you have Grape or Virginia Creeper nearby, then you probably have
Amphion floridensis WO, the 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.
WO, the 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 or Grapevine Sphinx:
The forewing upperside is dark brown to pale yellowish gray, with an olive tint.
On the costal margin there is a dark rectangular patch, although this may be reduced or absent. The upperside of the hindwing is pale orange.
Darapsa versicolor WO, 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 WO, 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, the White-lined Sphinx:
The forewing upperside is dark olive brown with paler brown along the
costa and outer margin, a narrow tan band running from the wing tip
to the base, and white streaks along the veins.
the 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.
the 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.
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Enjoy some of nature's wonderments: Saturniidae cocoons.
Cocoons of the giant silkmoths may be purchased in the fall and winter. Big and beautiful giant silk moths will emerge in spring/summer.
Read Actias luna rearing article.
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