Created/dedicated as per personal communication with Dawn Singh, (Paonias myops, Sandoval County, July 24, 2014); July 24, 2014
Updated as per James P. Tuttle's The Hawk Moths of North America, July 24, 2014
Updated as per BAMONA; July 24, 2014

Sandoval County, New Mexico
Sphingidae

Paonias myops male, Sandoval County, New Mexico,
July 24, 2014, courtesy of Dawn Singh.

This page is inspired by and dedicated to Dawn Singh who captured the image of the Paonias myops male, top of the page.

Dawn writes, "This beauty is sitting outside my front door on the stucco exterior of my house. We are at 6,500 feet elevation. From what Iíve read, they are not uncommon, but I have never seen one here in northern New Mexico. We have a very diverse garden and many hummingbird moths, swallowtail caterpillars, lizards and the like.

"Our temps at this time of year are in the mid to upper í90ís. We have about 9-10 inches of precip per year and are currently in our monsoon season. We received about 2Ē of rain in the last two weeks, but do not receive daily storms as we used to due to climate change. Humidity is normally under 10% but during this season, itís in the í40-50% range."

Thirty-five Sphingidae species are listed for New Mexico on the BAMONA website. Not all of the species are reported or anticipated in Sandoval County (eleven species are reported on BAMONA as of July 24, 2014). Many species have limited ranges in the southern or eastern parts of the state and would not be expected in Sandoval County.

It is hoped that this checklist, with the thumbnails and notes, will help you quickly identify the moths you are likely to encounter.

A "BAMONA" indicates the moth is reported on the BAMONA 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.

I, William Oehlke (WO), have added a number of species whose presence I expect in Sandoval County.

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 Sandoval County Sphingidae Larvae: Caterpillars; Hornworms

Visit New Mexico Catocala: Underwing Moths.

Sphinginae subfamily

Sphingini tribe:

Agrius cingulata WO possible stray: This species is a strong migrant and adults nectar from deep-throated flowers including moonflower (Calonyction aculeatum), morning glory (Convolvulus), honey suckle (Lonicera) and petunia (Petunia species).

Ceratomia amyntor WO, the Elm Sphinx or Four-horned Sphinx: The upperside of the forewing is brown with dark brown and white markings including a white costal area near the wing base, dark streaks along the veins, and a white spot in the cell. Larvae feed on Elm (Ulmus), birch (Betula), basswood (Tilia), and cherry (Prunus). unlikely

Lintneria separatus WO, the Separated Sphinx: The upperside of the forewing is dark gray with black and light gray wavy lines. The upperside of the hindwing is black with a brownish gray border and two white bands.

Manduca quinquemaculatus BAMONA, Five-spotted Hawkmoth: The moth abdomen usually has five but sometimes six pairs of yellow bands. The upperside of the forewing is blurry brown and gray. Larvae feed on tomatoes and go by the common name of "Tomato Hornworms".

Manduca rustica WO, Rustic Sphinx: Look for three large yellow spots on each side of the abdomen. The upperside of the forewing is yellowish brown to deep chocolate brown with a dusting of white scales and zigzagged black and white lines. possible stray

Manduca sexta WO, Carolina Sphinx: The abdomen usually has six pairs of yellow bands, broken across the back. The sixth set of markings is quite small. The upperside of the forewing has indistinct black, brown and white markings.If you grow tomatoes, you have probably encountered it.

Sagenosoma elsa WO, Elsa sphinx: The upperside of the forewing has a wide white band along the costa from base to apex. The remainder of the wing has black and white bands.

Sphinx asellus WO, Asella sphinx: The upperside of the forewing is pale silver-gray with a series of black dashes, a white patch at the tip, and a white stripe along the outer margin. The upperside of the hindwing is black with blurry white bands.

Sphinx chersis BAMONA, Northern Ash Sphinx; Great Ash Sphinx: The upperside of the forewing is 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 dollii WO, Doll's sphinx: Sphinx dollii (Wing span: 1 3/4 - 2 1/2 inches (4.5 - 6.3 cm)), flies in arid brushlands and desert foothills from Nevada and southern California east through Utah, Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico to Oklahoma and Texas.

Sphinx libocedrus BAMONA, Incense Cedar Sphinx: The upperside of the forewing is pale blue-gray to dark gray with a black dash reaching the wing tip and a white stripe along the lower outer margin. The upperside of the hindwing is black with two diffuse white bands, the upper one being practically non-existent.

Sphinx vashti WO, Snowberry Sphinx: 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. southern limit, unlikely

Smerinthini Tribe:

Pachysphinx modesta WO, Modest Sphinx; Poplar Sphinx: This moth has a large, heavy body, and females can be remarkably plump.

Larvae are fond of poplars and willows.

Pachysphinx occidentalis WO, Big Poplar Sphinx: This one is quite similar to Pachysphinx modesta, with modesta being smaller and darker. The am and pm lines are distinct in occidentalis, diffuse in modesta. Moths should be on the wing from June-August.

Paonias excaecata BAMONA, Blinded Sphinx: The outer margin of the forewing is quite wavy. There is a dark cell spot and a dark oblique line mid wing from the costa almost to the inner margin. Basic ground colour is pinkish brown. Flight would be June-July. unlikely

Paonias myops DS/BAMONA, 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.

Smerinthus cerisyi BAMONA, Cerisyi's Sphinx; One-eyed Sphinx: Larvae feed on poplars and willows. Flight would be from late May-July as a single brood. maybe, eastern limit

Smerinthus jamaicensis BAMONA, 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:

Hemaris diffinis BAMONA, Snowberry Clearwing; 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.

Hemaris senta WO, Rocky Mountain Clearwing. There is probably a single brood of this montane species from May-August. The moth is seen along streamsides and in meadows in mountainous areas. I believe this moth is now classified as H. thetis.

Philampelini tribe:

Eumorpha achemon WO, Achemon Sphinx: Adults nectar from flowers of Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica), petunia (Petunia hybrida), mock orange (Philadelphus coronarius), and phlox (Phlox). Larvae feed upon Grape (Vitis), Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) and other vines and ivies (Ampelopsis).

Macroglossini tribe:

Darapsa myron BAMONA, Virginia Creeper Sphinx; Grapevine Sphinx: The forewing upperside is dark brown to pale yellowish gray, with an olive tint. On the costal margin there is a dark rectangular patch, although this may be reduced or absent. The upperside of the hindwing is pale orange.

Euproserpinus wiesti WO, Wiest's Primrose Sphinx: Euproserpinus wiesti adults fly, during the day, over sand washes and prairie blow-outs as a single brood from May-June.

Hyles lineata BAMONA, 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.

Proserpinus juanita WO, the Juanita Sphinx: The upperside of the forewing is pale gray-green with a deep green-brown median area and a white dash at the wing tip. The underside of the forewing is pale orange at the base.

Proserpinus vega WO, Vega sphinx: Jim Tuttle writes, "P. vega has a very large and dark basal patch as the FW meets the thorax that is lacking in terlooii. There are also three prominent longitudinal stripes on the thorax of vega that are lacking in terlooii."

Xylophanes tersa possible stray WO, Tersa Sphinx: The upperside of the forewing is pale brown with lavender-gray at the base and has dark brown lengthwise lines throughout. The upperside of the hindwing is dark brown with a band of whitish, wedge-shaped marks.

Many of the Sphingidae larvae are highly variable within the species. Most darken considerably just before pupation, especially before the onset of cooler weather.

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.

Use your browser "Back" button to return to the previous page.

This page is brought to you by Bill Oehlke and the WLSS. Pages are on space rented from Bizland. If you would like to become a "Patron of the Sphingidae Site", contact Bill.

Please send sightings/images to Bill. I will do my best to respond to requests for identification help.


Show appreciation for this site by clicking on flashing butterfly to the left.
The link will take you to a page with links to many insect sites.