Ceratomia amyntor, July 16, 2006, Zak van Loocke
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. The upperside
of the hindwing is light brown and has a dark brown band along the
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 and the upperside of the hindwing
is yellowish brown with obscure lines.
Catalpa is the larval host.
Ceratomia undulosa, July 24, 2006, Zak van Loocke
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.
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. Larve are not limited to pawpaw.
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
might have this species. It flies on P.E.I.
Manduca quinquemaculata, July 16, 2006, Zak van Loocke.
This large bodied moth flies in tobacco fields and vegetable gardens
(potatoes, tomatoes) and wherever host plants are found.
Manduca sexta, several specimens, summer of 2006, Zak van Loocke
USGS/ZVL, the Carolina Sphinx
This species is recorded in Lenawee.
If you grow tomatoes, you have possibly encountered it.
Larvae get very large and can strip a tomato plant.
Sphinx canadensis, the Canadian Sphinx.
The absence of the white spot on each forewing and the more brownish
coloration serve to separate canadensis from S. poecilus.
The hindwing fringe also tends to be white on poecilus and
checkered brownish on canadensis.
Larval hosts are white ash (Fraxinus americana) and blueberry
Sphinx chersis WO, the 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.
This species is not recorded in Lenawee County. We have them on P.E.I.,
but I do not see them nearly as frequently as I see the other Sphingidae.
Sphinx eremitus, August 20, 2006, Zak van Loocke
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. The upperside of the hindwing is black with two white bands
and a triangular black patch at the base. Note the golden hair on the
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.
the Canadian Sphinx or
This one is not reported from Lenawee, but I suspect it is present.
If you have blueberries in the woods, then you probably have the
Poecila Sphinx. They are pretty common here on Prince Edward Island,
but don't fly too far south of Massachusetts, being replaced by
Sphinx gordius in Connecticut.
4 Amorpha juglandis, from July-August, 2006, Zak van Loocke
The adults are 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.
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.
Flight would be June-July.
2 Paonias myops, August 20, 2006, Zak van Loocke
the Small-eyed Sphinx
This small species is probably widespread and common. This species ranges across North America.
The hindwings have a small blue eyespot ringed with black on a yellow background.
the Modest Sphinx or Poplar Sphinx,
This large poplar/willow feeder is reported in Lenawee County.
This moth has a large, heavy body, and females can be remarkably plump.
WO, the Cerisyi's
Sphinx or One-eyed Sphinx,
Larvae feed on poplars and willows.
Flight would be from late May-July as a single brood. I suspect it is
This moth is widely distributed and fairly common, and it is recorded
Along the East Coast, it flies from P.E.I. to Florida.
This moth would only be seen in Michigan as a very rare stray, probably
aided in its northward flight by strong winds after a southern storm.
Hemaris diffinis, June 24, 2006, Zak van Loocke
USGS/ZVL, the Snowberry Clearwing or Bumblebee Moth,
The moth flies along forest edges and in meadows, gardens and
brushy fields. Day-flying adults nectar at lantana, dwarf bush honeysuckle,
snowberry, orange hawkweed, thistles, lilac, Canada violet, etc.
Hemaris thysbe WO, the Hummingbird Clearwing
This interesting day flier is not confirmed for Lenawee.
They are widely distributed in the east from P.E.I. to Florida.
This moth is reported for Lenawee,
and 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.
Eumorpha fasciatus, August 20, 2006, Zak van Loocke
ZVL, the Banded Sphinx
The upperside of the moth is dark pinkish brown. Each forewing has a
lighter brown band along the costa, and sharp pinkish white bands and
streaks. Larvae feed upon primrose-willow, Ludwigia (water primrose)
and other plants in the evening primrose family.
Eumorpha pandorus, July 24, 2006, Zak van Loocke
If you have Grape or Virginia Creeper nearby, then you probably have
this species. I often get asked to identify larvae from areas where
they have not previously been reported.
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.
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.
Darapsa myron, August 14, 2006, Zak van Loocke
USGS/ZVL, the Virginia Creeper Sphinx or the
This moth is recorded on the U.S.G.S. site for Lenawee County.
It is widely reported as far north as southern Maine. If you have the
foodplants indicated in the common names, you probably have this
If you have hydrangea growing near a stream, then you may have the
probably is uncommon.
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.
The upperside of the hindwing is orange-brown with a dark brown outer margin and median line.
WO, the Bedstraw Hawk Moth
or Gallium Sphinx
This species is not reported in Lenawee, but it has been recorded in
counties just to the south and east. I suspect it is present.
Some years I see them on P.E.I., some years, I do not.
Hyles lineata USGS, the White-lined Sphinx
Adults usually fly at dusk, during the night, and at dawn, but they
also fly during the day over a wide variety of open habitats
including deserts, suburbs, and gardens.
Sphecodina abbottii May 25, 2007, courtesy of Zak van Loocke
This moth is very much under reported on USGS. 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 and east. It is a strong
migrant, however, and may stray to Lenawee.