This moth is a very strong flier, but would only make its way to
Ontario County as a rare stray. There are not too many records from
New York state, but records exist for NJ and CT.
Ceratomia amyntor CD,
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.
The upperside of the forewing is pale brownish gray with wavy black
and white lines and a black-outlined white cell spot. The upperside of the hindwing is gray with diffuse darker bands.
The upperside of the forewing is dark brown with a dusting of white
scales. Some moths have patches of reddish or yellowish brown on the
This moth is not reported from Ontario, but it is
reported to the north, east, south and west. If you have pines, you
probably have this species. It flies on P.E.I.
Lintneria eremitus, nectaring at monarda at dusk, July 12, 2010, courtesy of Steve Daniel
The upperside of the forewing is gray-brown with wavy lines, black
dashes, and one or two small white spots near the center of the costa.
the 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.
I suspect if you grow tomatoes, you are likely to encounter it.
WO, the 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
If you grow tomatoes, however, you may have encountered it as it has
been found in western N.Y.
Sphinx canadensis, the Canadian Sphinx, is not common, and is not
often reported anywhere,
but it might be present in Ontario County as it is reported from
southern Ontario, Canada.
Larval hosts are white ash (Fraxinus americana) and blueberry
CD, the Northern Ash Sphinx or Great Ash Sphinx
This species is probably present but may not
be common. Larval hosts are ash, lilac, privet, cherry, and quaking
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.
the Canadian Sphinx or
This one is not reported from Ontario County, but it has been seen
to the southeast. It is generally not common.
If you have blueberries in the woods, then you might have the
They are pretty common here on Prince Edward Island. It has not been
confirmed in Ontario County.
The adults are also highly variable; sometimes wings of an individual may be all one color or may have several colors, ranging from pale to dark brown, and may have a white or pink tinge.
See the file for the female; she is different.
the Modest Sphinx or Poplar Sphinx
This moth is now recorded in nearby Monroe County by Steve Daniel. It
is fond of poplars and
They are common on Prince Edward Island.
Named for the dull grey-blue spot (minus dark pupil) 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.
Named for the small eye-spot in the hindwing, this moth has a wide
distribution and is probably common in Ontario County.
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.
Smerinthus jamaicensis, June 9, 2004, Steve Daniel
This moth is widely distributed and fairly common.
Along the East Coast, it flies from P.E.I. to Florida. I suspect it
Smerinthus jamaicensis May 25; June 7, 2006, Steve Daniel
See Hemaris comparison to help distinguish
the next three species.
CD, the Hummingbird Clearwing
It is not difficult to see why many gardeners would mistake an
Hemaris thysbe moth for a small hummingbird as it hovers,
sipping nectar from flowers through a long feeding tube.
Snowberry Clearwing or Bumblebee Moth
Adults mimic bumblebees and are quite variable. The wings are
basically clear, with dark brown to brownish-orange veins, bases
and edges. The thorax is golden-brown to dark greenish-brown with
1-2 yellow segments on the abdomen.
Slender Clearwing or Graceful Clearwing
This day-flying moth is less common and has not been recorded in
Monroe, but has been seen due east, south and west.
This moth is not reported for Ontario, 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
previously reported. Confirmed by Steve Daniel in nearby Monroe County.
This day flier is widely distributed. If you have Virginia Creeper,
you probably have the Nessus Sphinx. It is not officially reported
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 not confirmed for Ontario Co.,
but likely is present.
U.S.G.S., the Virginia Creeper Sphinx or the Grapevine Sphinx
This moth is recorded on the U.S.G.S. site for Ontario County,
and is confirmed by Steve Daniel in nearby Monroe 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 Ontario Co.,
but is likely there.
This species has been recorded in Ontario County.
Larvae feed on grape foliage and on Virginia Creeper.
WO, the Bedstraw Hawk Moth
or Gallium Sphinx
This species is not reported in Ontario Co., but I suspect it is there.
Some years I see them on P.E.I., some years, I do not.
WO, the White-lined Sphinx
This species is not reported from Ontario County. It flies across
southern New York and has strong migrating tendancies.
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 now confirmed in nearby
by Steve Daniel, May 8, 2006.