USGS, Pink-spotted hawkmoth.
Larvae feed on plants in Convolvulaceae family, especially
Ipomoea batatas (sweet potato) and Solanaceae family,
especially (Datura) (jimsonweed) and related plants in the
Americas. Also a brown form. Look for very large, dark
the Elm Sphinx or Four-horned Sphinx
Larvae feed on Elm (Ulmus), birch (Betula), basswood
(Tilia), and cherry (Prunus).
There are both green and brown forms. The four horns near
the head are diagnostic.
Young caterpillars feed gregariously on Catalpa species
(Catalpa bignoniodes and C. speciosa) in the
Bignoniaceae family, skeletonizing the foliage.
Larvae are mostly white in early instars.
WO, Hagen's Sphinx or Osage Orange Sphinx
Larvae feed on osage orange (Maclura pomifera), and they have a granulous appearance with variable amounts of purple
along the oblique white stripes. doubtful possibility
Fraxinus, Ligustrum, Quercus, Crataegus and
Chionanthus virginicus are listed as hosts.
In the fifth instar, the spiracular ovals are decidedly red and the
anal horn is off-white to pinkish laterally.
USGS, the Pawpaw Sphinx
Larvae feed on pawpaw (Asimina triloba), littleleaf sweetfern
(Myrica aspleniifolia), possum haw (Ilex decidua), and
inkberry (Ilex glabra) as well as Tall Gallberry Holly
Louis Handfield reports larvae probably feed on Ilex verticellata
USGS, Cypress or Baldcypress Sphinx.
Larvae feed on needles of baldcypress (Taxodium distichum) at night and
pupate in shallow underground burrows where second generation
USGS,, the Southern
Larvae feed upon various pine species, including loblolly pine
(Pinus taeda) and longleaf pine (P. pinaster).
They are well
camouflaged and are without an anal horn.
Larvae probably feed upon various pine species, including loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) and longleaf pine (Pinus pinaster).
Larvae feed on ash in the Fraxinus genus. Syringa and Ulmus have
also been reported.
Note the black anal horn.
The caterpillars are called Tomato Hornworms and each has a black horn at the end of the abdomen.
Larvae feed on potato, tobacco, tomato, and other plants in the
nightshade family (Solanaceae).
USGS, the Rustic Sphinx.
Larva: numerous white nodules on top of thorax and
seven pairs of oblique, blue-gray stripes along side of body.
Horn: white at the base and blue-gray at tip. Many hosts utilized.
Tobacco Hornworms, equipped with a red-tipped horn at the end of the
abdomen, are true gluttons and feed on tobacco and tomato, and
occasionally potato and pepper crops and other plants in the
nightshade family (Solanaceae).
USGS, the Plebeian Sphinx
Preferred hosts are common trumpetcreeper (Campsis radicans),
Florida yellow-trumpet (Tecoma stans), lilac
(Syringa species), and
passionflower (Passiflora species).
The anal horn is blue, preceded by a yellow dash.
Larvae feed exclusively on various species of ash (Fraxinus).
Raised, pointed bumps, especially near the head and thorax give this
caterpillar a reptilian appearance.
In the final instar, the black on the head, lateral lines, horn and on abdominal
legs is diagnostic.
Larvae feed primarily on lilac and fringe.
Amorpha juglandis larvae feed upon Walnut and butternut (Juglans),
hickory (Carya), alder (Alnus), beech (Fagus),
hazelnut (Corylus), and hop-hornbeam (Ostrya).
the Modest Sphinx or Poplar Sphinx
Larvae feed on poplars and cottonwood.
It would be more common
in southern Massachusetts and is a relatively uncommon species.
Only rarely are they seen in Maine. I never saw one in New Jersey.
Larvae accept willows, birches, and cherries.
I have also found them in the wild on oak in eastern Canada.
The skin is very granulose.
USGS, the Small-eyed Sphinx
The larvae depicted is probably third instar.
There may be more red spotting on the sides
as larvae mature.
Larvae feed upon many forest trees including birches and cherries,
but are expecially fond of poplars and willows. Red markings on sides
vary greatly from specimen to specimen.
Larvae feed on seven year apple, Casasia clusiifolia, common
buttonbush, Cephalanthus occidentalis, and white indigoberry,
Randia mitis. Randia monantha, Randia aculeata,
Albizzia adinocephala and Randia grandifolia, all in the
madder family (Rubiaceae), also serve as hosts.
rare adult stray; unlikely
Enyo lugubris, Long Beach, October 4, 2009, Ashley Geil
Enyo lugubris, the Mournful Sphinx,
The body and wings are dark brown. The forewing has a large black
patch covering most of the outer half of the wing. There is a pale
tan cell spot (dark inner pupil), and a fairly straight median line
to the inside of the cell spot. Several different larval forms.
WO, the Ello Sphinx.
Larval hosts: papaya (Carica papaya), Cnidoscolus
angustidens, poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima),
guava (Psidium species),
saffron plum (Bumelia angustifolia/Bumelia celastrina).
Willow Bustic (Bumelia salicifolia)
Painted Leaf (Poinsettia heterophylla).
Nice socks! Considerable variation. adult stray; unlikely
USGS, the Hummingbird Clearwing
There is also an orangey-pink prepupal form. The lateral line runs
from S1 to the blue horn.
Hemaris thysbe larvae feed on viburnum and related plants.
Snowberry Clearwing or Bumblebee Moth.
Larval hosts: Snowberry (Symphoricarpos),
honeysuckle (Lonicera), Coralberry, viburnums, Blue Dogbane
(Apocynum), dwarf bush honeysuckle (Diervilla lonicera).
Horn black with yellow base.
Pseudosphinx tetrio, the Tetrio Sphinx,
Caterpillars defoliate Frangipani tree (Plumeria spp.).
Velvety black with yellow rings and orange head.
Reach six inches long, also feed on
Allamanda cathartica, probably other members of
Dogbane family: Apocynaceae. rare adult stray; unlikely
the Achemon Sphinx.
Larvae feed upon Grape (Vitis), Virginia Creeper
(Parthenocissus quinquefolia) and other vines and ivies
Larvae occur in both a light (green) form and a darker (tan/brown)
form. Note six "segmented" oblique lines.
Eumorpha fasciatus fifth instar, Pass Christian, September 5, 2010, courtesy of Lauren Callihan Schrantz.
USGS/LC, the Banded Sphinx.
Primrose-willow, Ludwigia (water primrose)
and other plants in the evening primrose family. Hornless larva is
highly variable. Look for large, dark spiracular circles and a dark
line in the center of the back.
WO, the Intermediate Sphinx.
Eumorpha intermedia larvae feed upon peppervine, Ampelopsis arborea. Possibly they will also accept grape (Vitis species),
but so far no records of that host have been reported to my knowledge.
They like to remain well hidden within tangle of vines and probably feed mostly at night.
WO, the Gaudy Sphinx.
There is a
striking resemblance to a snake's head and eye, and a flattening of
the thoracic segments when the head is not retracted.
In Florida larvae have been found on Possum Vine
Cissus incisa, Cissus verticillata, Eupatorium odoratum,
Magnolia, Parthenocissus and Vitis vinifera are all
adult stray; unlikely
If you have Grape or Virginia Creeper nearby, then you might encounter
Note the five large white ovals. There are orangey-brown and green
In additon to Virginia creeper larvae accept Grape (Vitis),
ampelopsis (Ampelopsis), and cayenne pepper (Capsicum).
Larvae are green until the final instar.
Larvae feed on Azalea and Viburnum and progress very rapidly. The
larva to the left on Viburnum cassinoides is getting ready to
pupate. Color change from green to light burgundy-brown indicates
pupation is imminent.
USGS, the Virginia Creeper Sphinx or the Grapevine Sphinx
If you have the
foodplants indicated in the common names, you probably have this
species nearby. The lower wings are orange.
Larvae feed on Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia),
Grape (Vitis), Ampelopsis, and Viburnum.
the Hydrangea Sphinx.
Larvae turn a deep chocolate brown just prior to pupation;
"horn" on tail also turns downward as pupation draws near.
Darapsa versicolor larvae feed on Smooth hydrangea
(Hydrangea arborescens), buttonbush
(Cephalanthus occidentalis), waterwillow
the Lettered Sphinx.
Grape (Vitis), ampelopsis (Ampelopsis), and
Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus) all serve as larval hosts.
The alternating yellow and greyish-green rings across the back
distinguish this larva.
USGS, the White-lined Sphinx.
Larvae are highly varied and feed on a great diversity of plants
including willow weed (Epilobium), four o'clock (Mirabilis),
apple (Malus), evening primrose (Oenothera), elm
(Ulmus), grape (Vitis), tomato (Lycopersicon),
purslane (Portulaca), and Fuschia.
All larvae seem, however, to have the red/black swellings split by
The rare and possibly endangered Proud Sphinx flies from Texas and
Louisiana east to northern Florida, north to Alabama, Missouri,
northern Georgia, and South Carolina.
slight possibility; sorry, no larval image available
Larvae feed at night on grape (Vitis) and ampelopsis
(Ampelopsis) and hide on the bark of their host plants during
the day. Virginia creeper would also be a suitable host.
There is also a dark form
without the green patches. Note the "raised eye", replacing the anal horn.
the Tersa Sphinx.
Larvae feed on Borreria, Catalpa, Manettia spp. and
Smooth buttonplant (Spermacoce glabra) and starclusters
(Pentas species). Also recorded on joe-pie weed and
Hamelia patens and on Hedoydis nigricans. The green form may be more