Warren County, New Jersey
Sphingidae


Darapsa pholus by Bill Oehlke

This site has been created by Bill Oehlke at oehlkew@islandtelecom.com
Comments, suggestions and/or additional information/sightings are welcomed by Bill.

This page is inspired by and dedicated to Tony McBride of Blairstown (Warren County). Tony is a family friend and lepidoptera enthusiast who has sent me sightings of twenty-five Sphingidae species from Warren County.

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 Warren 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 (William Oehlke) expect that this moth is present or might be present, although unreported.

A "TM" indicates the moth is reported by Tony McBride.

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.

Visit Warren County Sphingidae Larvae: Caterpillars; Hornworms

Visit New Jersey Catocala: Underwing Moths

If you are travelling, you can find active Sphingidae checklists for all countries in North, Central, and South America and the Caribbbean via the links at North, Central, South American Sphingidae checklists

Sphinginae subfamily

Sphingini tribe:

Ceratomia amyntor TM, the Elm Sphinx or Four-horned Sphinx

This moth is now officially recorded in Warren County.

Larvae feed on Elm (Ulmus), birch (Betula), basswood (Tilia), and cherry (Prunus).

Ceratomia catalpae WO, the Catalpa Sphinx

This species is not officially recorded for Warren (possibly too far north). 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.

Ceratomia undulosa TM, the Waved Sphinx

This moth is now recorded in Warren. 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.

Dolba hyloeus WO, the Pawpaw Sphinx

This moth is not recorded in Warren. It is widely reported in other New Jersey counties and in Connecticut.

Lapara bombycoides WO, the Northern Pine Sphinx

This moth is not reported from Warren County, but if you have pines, you probably have this species. It flies on P.E.I.

Lapara coniferarum WO, the Southern Pine Sphinx

This moth is not reported from Warren County, but 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.

Manduca jasminearum TM, the Ash Sphinx

This species is officially recorded in Warren County by Tony McBride.

It is reported in much of New Jersey, southeastern New York and Connecticut.

Manduca quinquemaculata TM, the Five-spotted Hawkmoth

This species is has been recorded by Tony McBride in Warren County, and has been seen in nearby counties. I suspect if you grow tomatoes, you are likely to encounter it.

Manduca rustica WO, the Rustic Sphinx

This species is not officially recorded in Warren, but it has been taken in other counties in northeastern and central eastern New Jersey. I would not be surprised to get a report. Look for three large yellow spots on each side of the abdomen.

Manduca sexta TM, the Carolina Sphinx

This species is recorded in Warren by Andy McBride. If you grow tomatoes, you have probably encountered it, though.

Larvae get very large and can strip a tomato plant.

Paratrea plebeja WO, the Plebeian Sphinx

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. Questionable

Sphinx chersis TM, the Northern Ash Sphinx or Great Ash Sphinx

This species is reported in Warren. Larval hosts are ash, lilac, privet, cherry, and quaking aspen.

Sphinx drupiferarum WO, the Wild Cherry Sphinx

This species is not officially reported in Warren. We have them on P.E.I., but I do not see them nearly as frequently as I see the other Sphingidae.

Sphinx eremitus TM, the Hermit Sphinx

This species is confirmed for Warren by Tony McBride. Generally it is not widely reported.

Larval hosts are various species of beebalm (Monarda), mints (Mentha), bugleweed (Lycopis), and sage (Salvia).

Sphinx franckii WO, Franck's Sphinx Moth

This species is not reported in Warren. Generally it is not widely reported anywhere.
Similar to S. kalmiae but lacks the dark bar along the fw inner margin.

Sphinx gordius TM, the Apple Sphinx

This species is confirmed in Warren by Tony McBride. It is widely reported in neighbouring counties.

Note the pm line, absent in Sphinx poecila which flies more to the north.

Sphinx kalmiae TM, the Laurel Sphinx

This species is now officially reported in Warren. I have taken them on P.E.I., Canada, and reared them on lilac.

At rest the hindwings are usually completely covered.

Smerinthini Tribe:

Amorpha juglandis TM, the Walnut Sphinx

This moth is fairly widely reported to the north and east and Tony McBride reports them in Warren.

This is the first Sphinx species I reared as a boy in New Jersey. See the file for the female; she is different.

Pachysphinx modesta TM, the Modest Sphinx or Poplar Sphinx
This moth is now officially recorded in Warren County. It is fond of poplars and willows.

They are common on Prince Edward Island.

Paonias astylus WO, the Huckleberry Sphinx

This appears to be an uncommon species.

They are not officially recorded for Warren, but it should be present.

Paonias excaecata TM, the Blinded Sphinx

Named for the dull grey-blue spot (minus dark pupil) in the hindwing, this moth has a wide distribution and is common in Warren County. I regularly see them on Prince Edward Island, and they are reported as far south as Florida.

Paonias myops TM, the Small-eyed Sphinx

Named for the small eye-spot in the hindwing, this moth has a wide distribution and is common in Warren County.

I regularly see them on Prince Edward Island, and they are reported as far south as Florida.

Smerinthus jamaicensis TM, the Twin-spotted Sphinx

This moth is widely distributed and fairly common.

Along the East Coast, it flies from P.E.I. to Florida.

Macroglossinae subfamily


Dilophonotini tribe:

Hemaris thysbe TM, the Hummingbird Clearwing

This interesting day flier is confirmed in Warren 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 TM, the Snowberry Clearwing or Bumblebee Moth

This moth is widespread and has been officially recorded in Warren. 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 Warren, but has been seen in northeastern N.J. and southeastern N.Y. unlikely

Philampelini tribe:

Eumorpha achemon WO, the Achemon Sphinx

This moth is not officially reported for Warren, 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.

Eumorpha pandorus TM, the Pandorus Sphinx

If you have Grape or Virginia Creeper nearby, then you probably have this species. I have often seen them in Pottersville.

Macroglossini tribe:

Amphion floridensis TM, the Nessus Sphinix

This day flier is widely distributed. If you have Virginia Creeper, you probably have the Nessus Sphinx. It is reported from Richmond.
Two bright, distinct, narrow yellow bands are often visible on the abdomen.

Darapsa choerilus TM, the 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.
They are common in Hunterdon County.

Darapsa myron TM, the Virginia Creeper Sphinx or the Grapevine Sphinx
This moth is not recorded on the U.S.G.S. site for Warren County, but Tony McBride confirms its presence.
It is widely reported as far north as southern Maine. If you have the foodplants indicated in the common names, you probably have this species nearby.

Darapsa versicolor TM, the Hydrangea Sphinx

If you have hydrangea growing near a stream, then you may have the Hydrangea Sphinx.
It has now been reported in Warren County, but probably is not common.

Deidamia inscriptum TM, the Lettered Sphinx

This species has been recorded in Warren.

Grape (Vitis), ampelopsis (Ampelopsis), and Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus) all serve as larval hosts.

Hyles gallii TM, the Bedstraw Hawk Moth or Gallium Sphinx

Tony McBride reports two flights in Warren County, May and August.

Hyles lineata WO, the White-lined Sphinx

This species has been taken in Pottersville, just south of Warren County. It has strong migrating tendancies from much further south. There are records from New Hampshire and Maine.

Sphecodina abbottii TM, the Abbott's Sphinx

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. I have taken it is Pottersville (Hunterdon County). tony McBride confirms them in Warren County.

Xylophanes tersa TM, the Tersa Sphinx

This moth is much more common to the south. It is a strong migrant, however. Tony McBride reports them in Warren County.

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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