Updated as per James P. Tuttle's The Hawk Moths of North America, August 2, 2011
Updated as per BAMONA, August 2, 2011; July 25, 2014
Lewis and Clark County, Montana
Fifteen Sphingidae species are listed for Montana on the BAMONA
checklist as of July 25, 2014. I have added some species to Montana which I feel are likely present. Not all of the species are reported or anticipated in
Lewis and Clark County (None on BAMONA as of July 25, 2014).
It is hoped that this checklist, with the thumbnails and notes, will help you quickly identify the moths you have encountered.
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 is present or might be present. A BAM indicates the
moth is reported on the BAMONA website and/or in Moths of Western North America, #2. Distribution of Sphingidae of Western North America, revised,
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
image, via email to Bill Oehlke.
Visit Lewis and Clark County Sphingidae Larvae: Caterpillars; Hornworms
Visit Montana Catocala: Underwing Moths
Sphinx chersis WO, Northern Ash Sphinx; Great Ash Sphinx:
Soft dark gray to blue-gray with a series of black dashes, one of which reaches the wing tip.
Larval hosts are ash, lilac, privet, cherry, and quaking aspen.
Sphinx drupiferarum WO, Wild Cherry Sphinx:
Sphinx drupiferarum larvae hide in the day and feed primarily on cherry, plum, and apple at night.
Sphinx luscitiosa WO, maybe , Canadian Sphinx; Clemen's Sphinx:
The upperside of the forewing is yellowish gray in males and pale gray with a faint yellow tint in females. In both sexes, the dark
border on the outer margin widens as it approaches the inner margin.
Sphinx perelegans WO, Elegant Sphinx:
Sphinx perelegans adults fly in montane woodlands and mixed chaparral-type vegetation as a single brood
in the north, with adults mainly on the wing in June and July. It flies from dusk until after midnight.
If you have blueberries in the woods, then you probably have the
They are possibly in northern counties.
The upperside of the forewing has a narrow black subterminal line
bordered by a white inverted V-shaped line on the outside, and a
black line running inwards from the apex of the wing.
It is most often found in montane woodlands and along streamcourses.
the Modest Sphinx or Poplar Sphinx,
This moth has a large, heavy body, and females
can be remarkably plump.
This one is quite similar to Pachysphinx modesta, with modesta
being smaller and darker. There are two color forms: the upperside of the forewings is yellow brown in the pale form and dark gray in the dark form.
Lines and bands are well-defined.
The grey-blue eyespot of the hindwing gives this species its name.
Larvae feed on birches, willows, cherries and oaks.
The outer edge of the forewings is quite scalloped.
Paonias myops WO,
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.
If you have willows and poplars nearby, you've probably got populations of
the Cerisyi's Sphinx.
The hindwings are quite striking.
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. possibly
Larvae feed on poplars, aspen and willows.
Note different shape of double arced forewing pm line compared to the straighter pm line of cerisyi, directly above.
S. ophthalmica has smoother scalloping of the fw outer margin.
Hemaris diffinis WO,
the Snowberry Clearwing or Bumblebee Moth
The wings are basically clear, with dark brown to brownish-orange
veins, bases and edges. The thorax is golden-brown to dark
greenish-brown. The abdomen tends to be dark (black) with 1-2 yellow
segments just before the end. East of Continental Divide
Hemaris thetis WO, the Thetis Clearwing or Bee Hawk 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. West of Continental Divide.
WO, the Spurge Hawk Moth
The body is light brown with various white and dark brown
markings, while the wings have a conspicuous tan, brown, and pink or
red color pattern.
probably will expand there if not already present
Hyles gallii WO,
the Bedstraw Hawk Moth or Gallium Sphinx
This species is not officially reported from Glacier County; however, if
you have Gallium or Epilobium, you probably have
populations of this species.
Hyles lineata WO, the White-lined Sphinx:
This species is very widespread. It can be seen flying during the day,
into the evening and also at night.
The highly variable larvae are often found in people's gardens.
Enjoy some of nature's wonderments, giant silk moth cocoons.
These cocoons are for sale winter and fall. Beautiful Saturniidae moths will emerge the following spring and summer.
Read Actias luna rearing article.
Additional online help available.
Eggs of many North American species are offered during the spring and summer. Occasionally
summer Actias luna and summer Antheraea polyphemus cocoons are available. Shipping to US destinations is done from with in the US.
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