Salem County, New Jersey
Paratrea plebeja, nearby Gloucester County, New Jersey,
Jesse Donavan (JD).
This page is inspired by and dedicated to
Jesse sent me sighting data for the very much under reported
county of Salem, New Jersey.
He reports the following species
from Salem: Manduca rustica, Manduca quinquemaculata,
Ceratomia catalpae, Ceratomia undulosa, Dolba hyloeus, Amorpha juglandis,
Paonias myops, Paonias excaecata, Hemaris thysbe, Darapsa myron,
Darapsa choerilus, Deidamia inscripta, Sphecodina abbottii, and Hyles lineata.
Jesse also reports a Lapara species from Salem County,
but the markings aren't
clear enough for Jesse to determine if it is L. bombycoides
or L coniferarum.
Forty-four Sphingidae species are listed for New Jersey on the U.S.G.S.
website. Not all of the species are reported or anticipated in
Salem County (none are reported on U.S.G.S.). 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 Salem County, but I
(William Oehlke) expect that this moth is present or
might be present.
indicates the moth is reported on the USGS website and/or 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
Visit Salem County Sphingidae Larvae: Caterpillars; Hornworms
Visit New Jersey Catocala: Underwing Moths
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North, Central, South American Sphingidae checklists
WO Pink-spotted hawkmoth,
This moth is a very strong flier, but would only make its way to
Salem as a rare stray. There are not too many records from
New York state, but records exist for southern NJ and CT.
Ceratomia amyntor WO,
the Elm Sphinx or Four-horned Sphinx
This moth is not officially recorded in Salem, but I suspect it is present.
Larvae feed on Elm (Ulmus), birch (Betula), basswood (Tilia), and
This species is recorded for Salem by Jesse Donavan.
I have seen them in great numbers in other New Jersey counties.
The larvae feed in large groups and are much more
spectacular than the moths.
Catalpa is the larval host.
This moth is recorded in Salem by Jesse Donavan. I have seen them as far north as P.E.I. in
eastern Canada, and took them in New Jersey.
It is named for the wavy lines on the forewings.
This moth is recorded in Salem. It is widely reported in
other New Jersey counties and in Connecticut.
This moth is not reported from Salem.
If you have pines, you
probably have this species. It flies on P.E.I.
This moth is not reported from Salem. It is widely reported in
New Jersey and along the coast in Connecticut and Masachusetts.
If you've got pines, this species is likely present.
This species is not reported in Salem. Generally it is not
widely reported, but still is a good possibility.
This species is not officially recorded in Salem,
but has been recorded in nearby Gloucester.
It should be present in Salem County.
This species is now officially recorded in Salem, courtesy of
I suspect if you grow tomatoes, you are likely to encounter it.
This species is now recorded in Salem, courtesy of Jesse Donavan. It has also been
reported in counties in northeastern and central eastern New Jersey.
Look for three large yellow spots
on each side of the abdomen.
This species is not officially recorded in Salem.
If you grow tomatoes, you have probably encountered it, though.
Larvae get very large and can strip a tomato plant.
The upperside of the forewing is gray with indistinct black and
white markings. There is a series of black dashes
from the base to the tip, and a small white cell spot.
Sphinx chersis WO, the Northern Ash Sphinx or Great Ash Sphinx
This species is not reported in Salem. Larval hosts are ash,
lilac, privet, cherry, and quaking aspen. unlikely possibility
This species is not officially reported in Salem. We have them
on P.E.I., but I do not see them nearly as frequently
as I see the other Sphingidae.
This species is not reported in Salem, and generally it is
not widely reported anywhere. Similar to S. kalmiae but lacks the dark bar
along the fw inner margin.
This species is not reported in Salem. Generally it is
widely reported in nearby counties in New Jersey.
Note the pm line, absent in Sphinx poecila which flies
more to the north.
This species is not officially reported in Salem.
I have taken them on P.E.I., Canada, and reared them on
At rest the hindwings are usually completely covered.
This moth is also fairly widely reported to the north and east
and in Salem.
This is the first Sphinx species I reared as a boy in New Jersey.
See the file for the female; she is different.
the Modest Sphinx or Poplar Sphinx
This moth is not officially recorded in Salem County. It is fond
of poplars and
They are common on Prince Edward Island.
This appears to be an uncommon species.
They are not officially
recorded Salem but have been observed in nearby Gloucester, courtesy of Jesse Donavan.
Named for the dull grey-blue spot (minus dark pupil) in the hindwing,
this moth has a wide distribution and is probably common in Salem
I regularly see them on Prince Edward Island, and they are reported
as far south as Florida.
Named for the small eye-spot in the hindwing, this moth has a wide distribution
and is probably common in Salem County.
I regularly see them on Prince Edward Island, and they are reported
as far south as Florida.
This moth is widely distributed and fairly common, although not officially recorded in Salem.
Along the East Coast, it flies from P.E.I. to Florida.
Hemaris thysbe JD, the Hummingbird Clearwing
This interesting day flier is reported in Salem, and
is widely reported to the north, east and west.
They are widely distributed in the east from P.E.I. to Florida.
Hemaris diffinis WO, the
Snowberry Clearwing or Bumblebee Moth
This moth is widespread but has not been officially recorded in
Salem. It has been confirmed in northwestern N.J. and southeastern N.Y. and Connecticut.
Hemaris gracilis WO, the
Slender Clearwing or Graceful Clearwing
This day-flying moth is less common and has not been recorded in
Salem, but has been seen in northeastern N.J. and
southeastern N.Y. unlikely
This moth is not officially reported for Salem, but
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.
If you have Grape or Virginia Creeper nearby, then you probably have
I often get asked to identify larvae from areas not
This day flier is widely distributed. If you have Virginia Creeper, you
probably have the Nessus Sphinx. It is reported from
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.
It is now officially confirmed
Darapsa myron JD, the Virginia Creeper Sphinx or the Grapevine Sphinx
This moth is now confirmed by Jesse Donavan for Salem 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
It has not been reported in Salem County, but
I suspect it is present.
This species is now officially recorded in Salem, courtesy of Jesse Donavan.
Grape (Vitis), ampelopsis (Ampelopsis), and Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus) all serve as larval hosts.
Hyles lineata JD, the White-lined Sphinx
This species is now officially reported from Salem County. It has
strong migrating tendancies from much further south.
There are records from New Hampshire and Maine.
This moth is very much under reported across the United States. It
is a rapid day flier so is probably not in too many collections.
Grape is a popular larval host. It is confirmed in Salem.
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.
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