Nova Scotia, Canada
Lapara bombycoides fifth
instar larva by Bill Oehlke.
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.
This page is inspired by and dedicated to Chris Majka who provided me with some additional Sphingidae
records for Nova Scotia, June 2010.
Eumorpha pandorus final instar, black form, Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia,
I was surprised to see the Eumorpha pandorus larva from Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia, as I felt the sporadic reports from that province
were only of adult strays. Pippa confirms that the grape vine upon whichi it wasfeedig "is well established, being there for over two decades.
The vine it came from was in Nova Scotia even before that. We have no new vines purchased this year but did have a new honeysuckle near it,
from a local nursery.
August 30, 2010, courtesy of Pippa, Chris and Thomas Moss.
"The pictures were taken on the 30th Aug. 2010, at about 3:45 p.m. It proceeded to eat the whole vine leaf and was still there when we left for work the
following morning, but had gone when my husband came home that night at about 8 p.m."
The date of the larva find suggest a mid to late July flight time for adult E. pandorus in Nova Scotia.
Eumorpha pandorus final instar on Virginia Creeper, Canning, Nova Scotia,
August 26, 2017, courtesy of Krista Melville.
possibly just in southern N. S.,
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.
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.
If you have pines, you probably have this species. It flies on P.E.I.
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).
Sphinx canadensis, the Canadian Sphinx, is not common, and is not
often reported anywhere,
but it is present and is reported from
southern Ontario. I believe they are present in Nova Scotia.
Larval hosts are white ash (Fraxinus americana) and blueberry
possibly just in southern regions, the Northern Ash Sphinx or
Great Ash Sphinx
This species is present and is probably common.
Larval hosts are ash, lilac, privet, cherry, and quaking
aspen. Note pale blue horn.
This species is officially reported in Ontario. We have them
on P.E.I., but I do not see them nearly as frequently
as I see the other Sphingidae.
The lower forewings are predominantly brownish-yellow with a fairly
wide dark bar along the inner margin. At rest the wings hug the body,
giving the moth a long slender look. Anal horn is blue with extensive black markings in final instar.
the Canadian Sphinx or
This one is reported from Ontario, but it is generally not common. I suspect it is in Nova Scotia.
abundant, the Poecila Sphinx
If you have blueberries in the woods, then you might have the
They are pretty common here on Prince Edward Island.
can be purple or green.
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.
Larvae accept willows, birches, and cherries.
I have also found them in the wild on oak in eastern Canada. generally more eastern species
Paonias myops present, the Small-eyed Sphinx
Named for the small eye-spot in the hindwing, this moth has a wide
distribution and is probably common in Ontario.
I regularly see them on Prince Edward Island, and they are reported
as far south as Florida.
the Cerisyi's Sphinx
Smerinthus cerisyi is found in the southern regions of all Canadian
provinces and in northern border states. The one-eyed sphinx is also
found along the U.S. west coast, eastward to the Rockies. At my home
in Montague, P.E.I., Canada, they are quite common.
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.
See Hemaris comparison to help distinguish
the next three species.
common, 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.
generally more eastern species
Snowberry Clearwing or Bumblebee Moth
Larval host plants include Snowberry (Symphoricarpos),
honeysuckle (Lonicera), Coralberry, viburnums, Blue Dogbane
(Apocynum) and dwarf bush honeysuckle (Diervilla lonicera).
Horn is black with a yellow base.
Slender Clearwing or Graceful Clearwing
This day-flying moth is less common.
If you have Grape or Virginia Creeper nearby, then you might encounter
Note the five large white ovals. There are orangey-brown and green and nearly black
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.
present, the Bedstraw Hawk Moth
or Gallium Sphinx
This species is reported in Ontario.
Some years I see them on P.E.I., some years, I do not.
Larvae can be quite variable.
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
This day flier is officially reported from Ontario, but it
maynot be common. Look for them in meadows near coniferous forests.
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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