Updated as per James P. Tuttle's The Hawk Moths of North America, August 16, 2011
Inspired/dedicated as per personal communication with Eric Wurm (Hyles euphorbiae); August 16, 2011
Updated as per BAMONA, August 16, 2011

Dakota County, Minnesota

Hyles euphorbiae Burnsville, Dakota County, Minnesota,
August 16, 2011, courtesy of Eric Wurm.

This page is inspired by and dedicated to Eric Wurm who sent me the image/sighting of Hyles euphorbiae from Dakota County, August 16, 2011, as depicted top of this page.

Eric writes, "Not sure if you are still collecting photos for your website, but I found this specimen in Burnsville, MN. I used your website to confirm the ID. Thanks!"

Yes, I am still interested in Saturniidae, Sphingidae and Catocala images and sightings. Thanks for thinking of me, Eric. I wish permission to post your Hyles euphorbiae image, credited to you, on a webpage I will create for Dakota County Sphingidae Larvae.

Thirty-seven Sphingidae species are listed for Minnesota on the BAMONA website as of August 16, 2011. Not all of the species are reported or anticipated in Dakota County (Three (achemon, pandorus, thysbe) are reported on BAMONA as of August 16, 2011). 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 have no confirmed reports of this species in your county, but I (William Oehlke) expect that this moth with its larvae are present or might be present. I have included many species not on the BAMONA list for Minnesota; I believe they are or might be present

A "BAMONA" indicates the moth is reported 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 report any sightings to BAMONA, an excellent online resource, via links in header or to the left.

Sphinginae subfamily

Sphingini tribe:

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. Hw upperside: light brown; dark brown band along outer margin.

Ceratomia catalpae WO, Catalpa Sphinx: Fw upperside: yellowish brown with no white markings, but there are indistinct black lines and dashes. Cell spot gray with black outline, and upperside of the hindwing is yellowish brown with obscure lines. Catalpa is the larval host.

Ceratomia undulosa WO, Waved Sphinx: Fw upperside: pale brownish gray with wavy black and white lines; black-outlined white cell spot. Hw upperside: gray with diffuse darker bands.

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.

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.

Manduca quinquemaculatus WO Five-spotted Hawkmoth: Abdomen usually has five, sometimes six pairs of yellow bands. Fw upperside: blurry brown and gray. Hw upperside: banded with brown and white; two well-separated median zigzag bands.

Manduca sexta WO, Carolina Sphinx: Abdomen usually has six pairs of yellow bands, broken across back. Sixth set quite small. Fw upperside: indistinct black, brown, white markings. If you grow tomatoes, you have probably encountered it. Larvae can strip tomato plant. generally more southerly

Sphinx canadensis WO, Sphinx canadensis, Canadian Sphinx: Absence of white spot on each fw and more brownish coloration serve to separate S. canadensis from S. poecilus. Hw fringe also tends to be white on poecilus; checkered brownish on canadensis. maybe, generally more northerly

Sphinx chersis WO, Northern Ash Sphinx, Great Ash Sphinx: Fw upperside: soft dark gray to blue-gray with series of black dashes, one of which reaches wing tip. Hw upperside: black with blurry pale gray bands. Ash, lilac, privet, cherry, quaking aspen.

Sphinx drupiferarum WO, Wild Cherry Sphinx: Costal area: light grey in basal/median areas. Terminal and marginal areas are also light grey. The rest of the forewing is dark slatey grey.

Sphinx gordius WO, Apple Sphinx: Note the pm line, absent in Sphinx poecila which generally flies more to the north.

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.

Sphinx poecila WO, Poecila Sphinx: If you have blueberries in the woods, then you might have the Poecila Sphinx. They are pretty common here on Prince Edward Island, but don't fly too far west of Wisconsin. unlikely, generally more northerly

Smerinthini Tribe:

Amorpha juglandis WO, 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 white or pink tinge. Patterns range from faint to pronounced.

Pachysphinx modesta WO the Modest Sphinx or Poplar Sphinx: This moth has a large, heavy body, and females can be remarkably plump. Lines are diffuse and the forewing has darker and lighter grey to brown areas.

Paonias excaecata WO, the Blinded Sphinx: Named for the dull grey-blue spot in the hindwing. I regularly see them on Prince Edward Island.

Paonias myops WO, the Small-eyed Sphinx: Named for the small eye-spot in the hindwing, this moth has a wide distribution. I regularly see them on Prince Edward Island, and they are reported as far south as Florida.

Smerinthus cerisyi WO, the Cerisyi's Sphinx: At my home in Montague, P.E.I., Canada, they are quite common. This is a very easy species to rear.

Smerinthus jamaicensis WO, 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.

Macroglossinae subfamily

Dilophonotini tribe:

Erinnyis ello, Ello Sphinx, WO: The abdomen has very distinct gray and black bands. Adults nectar at dusk so you may see them in the garen at that time. possibly, but only as a stray

See Hemaris comparisons.

Hemaris thysbe BAMONA, Hummingbird Clearwing: They are widely distributed in the east from P.E.I. to Florida.

Hemaris diffinis WO, Snowberry Clearwing: This moth is widely distributed and is confirmed by Duane McDowell for Ramsey County.

Philampelini tribe:

Eumorpha achemon BAMONA, the Achemon Sphinx: This moth is fairly often reported along the coast from southern New Jersey to central Maine. It also ranges westward. Note the differences between this moth and the Pandorus Sphinx.

Eumorpha pandorus BAMONA, 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 not previously reported.

Macroglossini tribe:

Amphion floridensis WO,Nessus Sphinix: This day flier is widely distributed. If you have Virginia Creeper, you might have the Nessus Sphinx.

Two bright, distinct, narrow yellow bands are often visible on the abdomen. generally more southerly

Darapsa choerilus WO, Azalea Sphinx: 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 WO, Virginia Creeper Sphinx, Grapevine Sphinx: Fw upperside: dark brown to pale yellowish gray, with olive tint. On costal margin there is dark rectangular patch, although this may be reduced or absent. Hw upperside: pale orange.

Deidamia inscriptum WO, Lettered Sphinx: Fw outer margin: 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.

Hyles gallii WO, the Bedstraw Hawk Moth or Gallium Sphinx: This species is not reported in Minnesota by USGS, but I expect it is present.

Some years I see them on P.E.I., some years, I do not.

Hyles euphorbiae EW, Spurge Hawk Moth: Body: light brown with various white and dark brown markings, while wings have conspicuous tan, brown, pink or red color pattern.

Hyles euphorbiae larva, Burnsville, August 16, 2011, Eric Wurm

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. It is a rapid day flier so is probably not in too many collections.

Grape is a popular larval host.

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