Ceratomia amyntor, Ogemaw County, July 6, 2012, Cindy Mead
the Elm Sphinx or Four-horned Sphinx:
The fw upperside is brown with dark brown and white
markings including white costal area near wing base, dark
streaks along veins, and white spot in cell. The hw upperside
is light brown and has dark brown band along
outer margin. Larvae feed on Elm (Ulmus), birch (Betula),
basswood (Tilia), and cherry (Prunus).
Ceratomia undulosa, Ogemaw County, June 24, 2012, Cindy Mead
the Waved Sphinx
The fw upperside is pale brownish gray with wavy black
and white lines and a black-outlined white cell spot. The hw upperside
is gray with diffuse darker bands.
Some individuals are very dark, almost black, and others are light
Dolba hyloeus, Ogemaw County, June 19, 2012, Cindy Mead
CM, 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.
The underside is rather plain.
Fifth instar larva find in tomato garden, August 10-13, Jonathon Tubbs
This large bodied moth flies in tobacco fields and vegetable gardens
(potatoes, tomatoes) and wherever host plants are found.
This species was not recorded in Otsego (now confirmed by Jonathon Tubbs). It is a strong migrant, however.
If you grow tomatoes, you have probably encountered it.
Larvae get very large and can strip a tomato plant.
Sphinx canadensis, the Canadian Sphinx, is not common.
The absence of white spot on each forewing and more brownish
coloration serve to separate S. canadensis from S. poecilus.
Hw fringe also tends to be white on poecilus and checkered
brownish on canadensis. Larval hosts are white ash (Fraxinus
americana) and blueberry (Vaccinium).
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.
The grey costa and terminal area along the fw outer margin are in contrast to
the remainder of the darker, slatey grey forewing.
The fw upperside is gray-brown with wavy lines, black
dashes, and one or two small white spots near center of
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 thorax.
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
The fw upperside is yellowish gray in males and pale gray with
faint yellow tint in females (left). The dark border on the outer
margin widens as it approaches inner margin. Hw upperside is deep
yellow in males, pale yellow in females with wide black
If you have blueberries in the woods, then you probably have the
They are pretty widespread throughout Michigan.
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.
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.
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 Oakland County.
They are a heavy bodied species.
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. It is
reported by Jonathan Tubbs.
This moth is widely distributed and fairly common, and it is recorded
Along the East Coast, it flies from P.E.I. to Florida.
BAMONA, 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.
WO, The Slender Clearwing or Graceful
This day flier is not commonly reported, but is probably present in
WO, the Hummingbird Clearwing
This interesting day flier is not confirmed for Otsego, but is reported in neighbouring counties.
They are widely distributed in the east from P.E.I. to Florida.
This moth is not reported for Otsego,
but it may be present.
Note the differences between this moth and the Pandorus Sphinx.
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.
WO, the Virginia Creeper Sphinx or the
It is widely reported in southern Michigan and in southern Ontario.
If you have the foodplants indicated in the common names, you probably have this
This species has not been recorded in Otsego.
It is seen in southern Ontario, however, and in central and southern Michigan.
WO, the Bedstraw Hawk Moth
or Gallium Sphinx
This species is not reported in Otsego, but it has been recorded in
Michigan counties north and south. I suspect it is present.
Some years I see them on P.E.I., some years, I do not.
Hyles lineata (fresh at light), August 25, 2005, Jonathon Tubbs
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.
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.