Created/dedicated as per personal communication with Kevin P., (Agrius cingulata), October 19, 2010
Updated as per James P. Tuttle's The Hawk Moths of North America, October 19, 2010
Updated as per James Butterflies and Moths of North America, formerly USGS, October 19, 2010
Created/dedicated as per personal communication with Lee Gosset (Ceratomia undulosa; Eumorpha achemon), September 10, 2012
Created/dedicated as per personal communication with Alicia White (Eumorpha achemon), August 31, 2016
Oklahoma County, Oklahoma
Agrius cingulata, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma County, Oklahoma,
October 18, 2010,
courtesy of Kevin P.
This page is inspired by and dedicated to Kevin P. who sent me the image of Agrius cingulata at the top of the page.
Kevin writes, "First and foremost, you have a very interesting and informative website. I think (with the help of a friend of mine at Stanford and your
website) that a species I observed might be Hyles lineata, but I'm not sure.
"The story: I live in Oklahoma City. I've got flowering vines right off of my front porch, where there is a porch light and landscape lights.
Tonight, at approx 11:00pm, I observed a large moth (thought it was a hummingbird at first) fluttering around the vines. So I snapped some pictures.
I attached one, only because the image files are so big. If you'd like to see more, I'll send what I have.
"Is this, in fact, a white lined sphinx moth? Let me know what you think."
Kevin has the correct family of moths: Sphingidae, and both the White-lined Sphinx (Hyles lineata) and Agrius cingulata have pinkish
hindwings, but this one is the Pink-spotted Hawkmoth, Agrius cingulata.
As far as I know, larvae of this species have not been recorded in Oklahoma, so the moth would be an adult stray from further south where winters are not
quite so cold. I have seen larvae from Dallas area of northeastern Texas, but that is about as far north as they are found in south central US.
The adult Sphingidae are very strong fliers, and most of them nectar from flowers open at night. They also tend to be attracted to lights.
Some of the strays from further south are most likely to be seen in the fall, and there northward flights may be aided by hurricane or strong winds
from the south.
Thirty-seven Sphingidae species are listed for Oklahoma on the USGS checklist. Not all of the species are reported or anticipated in
Oklahoma County (four on USGS as of october 19, 2010).
It is hoped that this checklist, with the thumbnails and notes, will help you quickly identify the moths you have encountered.
A "WO" after the species name indicates that I have no confirmed reports of this species in Oklahoma County,
but 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 Moths of Western North America,
#2. Distribution of Sphingidae of Western North America, revised,
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
image, via email to Bill Oehlke.
Many thanks to Lee Gosset who confirms Ceratomia undulosa and Eumorpha achemon in Oklahoma County.
Ceratomia undulosa, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma County, Oklahoma,
September 10, 2012, courtesy of Lee Gosset.
Eumorpha achemon, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma County, Oklahoma,
Many thanks to Alicia White who provides the following image of Eumorpha achemon.
May 27, 2011, courtesy of Lee Gosset.
Eumorpha achemon. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma,
Visit Oklahoma County Sphingidae larvae Checklist.
August 30, 2016, courtesy of Alicia White.
Visit Oklahoma Catocala, Underwing Moths.
This website has been created and is maintained by Bill Oehlke without government or institutional financial assistance. All expenses, ie., text reference
support material, webspace rental from Bizland, computer repairs/replacements, backups systems, software for image adjustments (Adobe Photoshop; L-View),
ftp software, anti-virus protection, scanner, etc. are my own.
Agrius cingulata, Oklahoma City, October 18, 2010, Kevin P.
KP, probably a stray.
A strong migrant; 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.
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,
Fw upperside 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. Larvae feed in large
groups and are much more spectacular than the moths. Catalpa is
the larval host.
Ceratomia undulosa, Oklahoma City, September 10, 2012, courtesy of Lee Gosset.
Forewing is pale brownish gray with wavy black
and white lines and a black-outlined white cell spot.
the Sage Sphinx.
Look for two thin black dashes across a slightly darker median patch in an
otherwise distinct, light median area.
WO, Five-spotted Hawkmoth.
Abdomen usually has five but sometimes six pairs of yellow
bands. Fw: blurry brown and gray.
Larvae feed on tomatoes and go by the common name of
USGS, 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.
WO, Plebeian Sphinx.
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.
USGS, Northern Ash Sphinx/ Great Ash
Sphinx. 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.
Wild Cherry Sphinx.
Sphinx drupiferarum larvae hide in the day and feed primarily on
cherry, plum, and apple at night.
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 Walnut Sphinx.
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, 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.
WO, the 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.
WO, unlikely, Titan Sphinx.
Body: dark brown with wide white stripe across abdomen.
Wings: 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
WO, unlikely , the Dominican Sphinx.
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 WO,
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.
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.
Eumorpha achemon, Oklahoma City, May 27, 2011, courtesy of Lee Gosset.
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),
other vines, ivies (Ampelopsis).
Eumorpha achemon, Oklahoma City, August 30, 2016, courtesy of Alicia White.
CG, the Banded Sphinx.
This moth is a very strong flier and is often reported far north of
its normal range.
It would be a rare stray to Pottawatomie
(Shawnee, August 31, 2005)
WO, the Pandorus Sphinx.
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.
the Nessus Sphinix.
This day flier is widely distributed. If you have Virginia Creeper, you
probably have the Nessus Sphinx. It is reported from
Hunterdon. 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.
WO, Virginia Creeper Sphinx/Grapevine Sphinx.
Forewing: dark brown to pale yellowish gray, with an olive tint.
On costal margin there is dark rectangular patch, although this may be reduced or absent.
Hw upperside is pale orange.
the Lettered Sphinx.
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 USGS, 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 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.
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
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