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).
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).
WO, generally more easterly,
the Catalpa Sphinx
The upperside of the forewing is yellowish brown with no white
markings, but there are indistinct black lines and dashes. The cell
spot is gray with a black outline and the upperside of the hindwing
is yellowish brown with obscure lines. The larvae feed in large
groups and are much more spectacular than the moths.
the larval host.
The upperside of the forewing is pale brownish gray with wavy black
and white lines and a black-outlined white cell spot.
Look for two thin black dashes across a slightly darker median patch in an
otherwise distinct, light median area.
WO, 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.
Larvae feed on tomatoes and go by the common name of
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, you have probably encountered it.
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.
WO, the Northern Ash Sphinx or Great Ash
The upperside of the forewing is soft dark gray to
blue-gray with a series of black dashes, one of which reaches the
Larval hosts are ash, lilac, privet, cherry, and quaking aspen.
Sphinx drupiferarum larvae hide in the day and feed primarily on
cherry, plum, and apple at night.
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.
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 has a large, heavy body, and females
can be remarkably plump.
WO, generally more easterly, the Blinded Sphinx
The grey-blue eyespot of the hindwing gives this species its name.
Larvae feed on birches, willows, cherries and oaks.
The outer edge of the forewings is quite scalloped.
Paonias myops WO, generally more easterly,
the 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 jamaicensis closely resembles Smerinthus cerisyi, but
jamaicensis is much smaller with larger blue patches on
more vibrant and deeper purple in the lower wings.
WO, unlikely, the Titan Sphinx.
The body is dark brown with a wide white stripe across the abdomen.
The wings are dark brown. It is very similar to above species, but
the upperside of the hindwing has pale patches along the costa and
inner margin. very rare stray
This moth flies in Haiti and Jamaica south to Paraguay and Bolivia
with occasional sightings in Texas and Arizona. This species
might be present in Pottawatomie County as a
very rare stray.
Erinnyis ello, the Ello Sphinx,
The abdomen has very distinct gray and black bands.
Adults nectar at dusk so you may see them in the garen at that
time, but only as very rare strays.
Erinnyis obscura, the Obscure Sphinx,
During the night adults nectar at flowers, including bouncing bet
(Saponaria officinalis) and Asystasia gangetica beginning at dusk.
July and August are flight times in the southern states. very rare strays
Hemaris diffinis USGS,
the Snowberry Clearwing or 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.
WO, generally more easterly, 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.
the 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).
This moth is a very strong flier and is often reported far north of
its normal range.
It would be a rare stray to Kay County.
If you have Grape or Virginia Creeper nearby, then you probably have
WO, possible stray from further south,
the Vine Sphinx
The upperside of the moth is dark pinkish brown. Each forewing has a
lighter brown band along the costa, and sharp pinkish white bands and
streaks. The hindwing has a pink patch on the inner margin.
This day flier is widely distributed. If you have Virginia Creeper, you
probably have the Nessus Sphinx. It is reported from
Two bright, distinct, narrow yellow
bands are often visible on the abdomen.
WO, generally more easterly, the Azalea Sphinx
The lower wings of this hawkmoth are a solid brownish-orange,
matching the body colour.
You will often see this species listed as Darapsa pholus,
especially in older literature.
USGS, the Virginia Creeper Sphinx or the 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.
The moth's outer margin of the forewing is deeply scalloped.
The upperside is light brown with dark brown markings.
There is a small black and white spot near the tip.
The upperside of the hindwing is orange-brown with a dark brown outer margin and median line.
Hyles lineata, Ponco City, August 10, 2010, courtesy of Angela McDaniel
Hyles lineata AM/USGS, the 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.
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.
WO, generally more easterly,
the 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