Created/dedicated as per personal communication with Greg Roehm, August 31, 2012; June 29, 2013; ongoing
Updated as per James P. Tuttle's The Hawk Moths of North America, August 31, 2012
Updated as per BAMONA website, August 31, 2012; September 1, 2012

Van Wert County, Ohio

Sphingidae trio, Willshire, Van Wert County, Ohio, courtesy of Greg Roehm.

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

This page is inspired by and dedicated to Greg Roehm of Willshire, Van Wert County, Ohio. Greg has sent many Sphingidae and Catocala images with data from Willshire, Ohio.

Depicted at top of page from top to bottom are Paonias myops, Paonias excaecata, Sphecodina abbottii.

On June 29, 2013, Greg alerted me to many additional species he has confirmed.

Visit Van Wert County: Sphingidae: Larvae (caterpillars).

Visit Ohio Catocala (underwing moths).

Thirty-three Sphingidae species are listed for Ohio on the BAMONA website. Nine additional species are reported by Rick Ruggles and/or Eric Metzler.

Not all of the species are reported or anticipated in van Wert County (None are reported on BAMONA as of August 31, 2012). 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.

A "USGS" 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 Bill Oehlke.

Please also send your sightings to BAMONA, an excellent on-line resource.

Sphinginae subfamily

Sphingini tribe:

Agrius cingulata, WO Pink-spotted hawkmoth, unlikely stray: Strong migrant; nectars from deep-throated flowers including moonflower (Calonyction aculeatum), morning glory (Convolvulus), honey suckle (Lonicera), petunia.

Ceratomia amyntor WO/GR, Elm Sphinx, Four-horned Sphinx: Brown with dark brown and white markings including white costal area near wing base, dark streaks along veins, white spot in cell. Elm (Ulmus), birch (Betula), basswood (Tilia), cherry (Prunus).

Ceratomia amyntor, Willshire, July 14, 2011, Greg Roehm

Ceratomia catalpae WO/GR, Catalpa Sphinx: Yellowish brown with no white markings, indistinct black line, dashes. Cell spot gray with lack outline. Larvae gregarious, much more spectacular than moths. Catalpa.

Ceratomia catalpae, Willshire, August 12, 2010, Greg Roehm

Ceratomia undulosa WO/GR, Waved Sphinx: Pale brownish gray (sometimes dark) with wavy black, white lines, black-outlined white cell spot. Hw: gray with diffuse darker bands.

Ceratomia undulosa, Willshire, July 14, 2011, Greg Roehm

Dolba hyloeus WO, Pawpaw Sphinx: Dark brown with a dusting of white scales. Some moths have patches of reddish or yellowish brown on the wings.

Lintneria eremitus WO, Hermit Sphinx: Gray-brown with wavy lines, black dashes, one or two small white spots near center of costa. Hw: black with two white bands, triangular black patch at base. Note golden hair on thorax.

Manduca quinquemaculatus WO, the Five-spotted Hawkmoth: I suspect if you grow tomatoes, you are likely to encounter Manduca quinquemaculata.

Manduca sexta WO/GR, Carolina Sphinx: If you grow tomatoes, you have probably encountered Manduca sexta in the larval stage. Larvae can strip a tomato plant.

Manduca sexta, Willshire, August 10, 2010, Greg Roehm

Paratrea plebeja WO/GR, Plebeian Sphinx: Gray with indistinct black and white markings. Series of black dashes from base to tip, small white cell spot.

Paratrea plebeja, Willshire, June 14, 2013, courtesy of Greg Roehm.

Sphinx chersis WO, Northern Ash Sphinx, Great Ash Sphinx: Ash, lilac, privet, cherry, and quaking aspen.

Sphinx drupiferarum WO, Wild Cherry Sphinx: We have them on P.E.I., but I do not see them nearly as frequently as I see the other Sphingidae.

Sphinx gordius WO, Apple Sphinx: Note the pm line, absent in Sphinx poecila which flies more to the north.

Sphinx kalmiae WO/ GR, Laurel Sphinx: Lower fws predominantly brownish-yellow with fairly wide dark bar along inner margin. At rest wings hug body, giving moth long slender look.

Sphinx kalmiae, Willshire, August 1, 2012, Greg Roehm

Smerinthini Tribe:

Amorpha juglandis WO/ GR, Walnut Sphinx: Highly variable; sometimes wings all one color or may have several colors, ranging from pale to dark brown, may have white or pink tinge. Patterns range from faint to pronounced. Female is different.

Amorpha juglandis, Willshire, June 12, 2012, Greg Roehm

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

Pachysphinx modesta, Willshire, July 27, 2010, Greg Roehm

Paonias excaecata GR, Blinded Sphinx: Dull grey-blue spot (minus dark pupil) in hindwing, Wide distribution in eastern United States. I regularly see them on Prince Edward Island; reported as far south as Florida.

Paonias excaecata, Willshire, June 12, 2012, Greg Roehm

Paonias myops GR, Small-eyed Sphinx: Small eye-spot in hindwing, wide distribution. I regularly see them on Prince Edward Island, and they are reported as far south as Florida.

Paonias myops, Willshire, July 16, 2012, Greg Roehm

Smerinthus jamaicensis WO, Twin-spotted Sphinx: Widely distributed and fairly common. Along the East Coast, it flies from P.E.I. to Florida.

Macroglossinae subfamily

Dilophonotini tribe:

See Hemaris comparison to help distinguish the next two species.

Hemaris thysbe / WO/GR, Hummingbird Clearwing: Not difficult to see why many gardeners would mistake Hemaris thysbe for small hummingbird hovering, sipping nectar from flowers through long feeding tube.

Hemaris thysbe, Willshire, July 11, 2008, Greg Roehm

Hemaris diffinis WO/GR, Snowberry Clearwing: Mimic bumblebees, quite variable. Wings clear, with dark brown to brownish-orange veins, bases, edges. Thorax golden-brown to dark greenish-brown. Abdomen black with 1-2 yellow segments.

Hemaris diffinis, Willshire, August 3, 2007, Greg Roehm

Philampelini tribe:

Eumorpha achemon WO/GR, Achemon Sphinx: Larvae get large and feed on grape vines and Virginia creeper. Note differences between this moth and Pandorus Sphinx.

Eumorpha achemon, Willshire, July 16, 2011, Greg Roehm

Eumorpha fasciata WO, Banded Sphinx: Strong flier, occasionally moths and larvae turn up as very rare strays in northern communities. possible, but unlikely stray

Eumorpha pandorus WO/GR, Pandorus Sphinx: If you have Grape or Virginia Creeper nearby, then you probably have choerilus. I often get asked to identify larvae from areas not previously reported.

Eumorpha pandorus, Willshire, July 15, 2012, Greg Roehm

Macroglossini tribe:

Amphion floridensis WO/GR, Nessus Sphinix: Widely distributed. If you have Virginia Creeper, you probably have Nessus Sphinx. Two bright, distinct, narrow yellow bands are often visible on the abdomen.

Amphion floridensis, Willshire, July 7, 2012, Greg Roehm

Darapsa choerilus WO/GR, Azalea Sphinx: Lower wings solid brownish-orange, matching body colour. You will often see this species listed as Darapsa pholus, especially in older literature.

Darapsa choerilus, Willshire, July 5, 2012, Greg Roehm

Darapsa myron WO/GR, Virginia Creeper Sphinx, Grapevine Sphinx: If you have foodplants indicated in common names, you probably have myron. Lower wings orange.

Darapsa myron, Willshire, July 7, 2012, Greg Roehm

Darapsa versicolor WO/GR, Hydrangea Sphinx: If you have hydrangea, then you might have Hydrangea Sphinx. FW upperside often greenish brown with curved dark lines and pinkish-white patches. Pale yellow to reddish brown with white along costal margin, greenish brown along outer margin, and white shaded with greenish brown on inner margin.

Darapsa versicolor, Willshire, July 21, 2011, Greg Roehm

Deidamia inscriptum WO/GR, Lettered Sphinx: Fw outer margin deeply scalloped. Light brown with dark brown markings. Small black and white spot near tip. Grape (Vitis), ampelopsis (Ampelopsis), Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus).

Deidamia inscriptum, Willshire, May 12, 2012, courtesy of Greg Roehm.

Hyles lineata WO/GR, White-lined Sphinx: Strong migrating tendancies from much further south. There are records from New Hampshire and Maine.

Hyles lineata, Willshire, August 12, 2010, Greg Roehm

Sphecodina abbottii GR, Abbott's Sphinx: This moth is very much under reported across the United States. Rapid day flier so is probably not in too many collections. Grape.

Sphecodina abbottii, Willshire, June 12, 2012, Greg Roehm

Xylophanes tersa WO, Tersa Sphinx: This moth is much more common to the south. Strong migrant. possible, but unlikely stray

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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