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.
Catalpa Sphinx: Young caterpillars feed gregariously on Catalpa species
(Catalpa bignoniodes and C. speciosa) in
Bignoniaceae family, skeletonizing foliage.
Larvae are mostly white in early instars.
generally more southerly species
common, Waved Sphinx:
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.
present, Pawpaw Sphinx:
Pawpaw (Asimina triloba), littleleaf sweetfern
(Myrica aspleniifolia), possum haw (Ilex decidua),
inkberry (Ilex glabra) Tall Gallberry Holly
(Ilex coriacea). Ilex verticellata in Quebec.
If you have pines, you probably have this species. It flies on P.E.I.
Hermit Sphinx: 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.
Tomato Hornworms: Black horn at end of abdomen.
Larvae feed on potato, tobacco, tomato, and other plants in
nightshade family (Solanaceae).
Manduca sexta, London, Ontario, September 1, 2008, Jack P. Brooks.
JPB, Carolina Sphinx:
Note the red horn and black dots anterior to the white oblique lines.
If you grow tomatoes, you have probably encountered it.
occasionally encountered in southern Ontario
Sphinx canadensis, Canadian Sphinx, uncommon, not
often reported anywhere,
present; reported from
southern Ontario. I believe they are present in Nova Scotia.
Larval hosts: white ash (Fraxinus americana), blueberry
Sphinx chersis fifth instar, Ottawa, Ontario,
August 1, 2010, courtesy of Don Chartrand.
abundant, Northern Ash Sphinx;
Great Ash Sphinx: present, common.
Larval hosts are ash, lilac, privet, cherry, and quaking
aspen. Note pale blue horn.
Wild Cherry Sphinx:
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.
Fw upperside: brown with black borders
through brownish gray with paler borders to pale gray with no
borders. It is probably Sphinx poecila that
is present in Ontario.
Sphinx kalmiae fifth instar, Marmora, Ontario, late July 2009, Damian MacSeáin.
present, Laurel Sphinx:
Lower forewings: predominantly brownish-yellow with fairly
wide dark bar along inner margin. Wings hug body,
giving moth long slender look. Anal horn: blue with extensive black markings in final instar.
This one is reported from Ontario, but it is generally not common.
abundant, 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.
Larvae feed upon Walnut,d butternut (Juglans),
hickory (Carya), alder (Alnus), beech (Fagus),
hazelnut (Corylus), 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, Small-eyed Sphinx:
Named for small eye-spot in hindwing, this moth has wide
distribution; probably common in Ontario.
I regularly see them on Prince Edward Island, and they are reported
as far south as Florida.
found in southern regions of all Canadian
provinces and in northern border states. One-eyed sphinx is also
found in US eastward of Continental Divide. Common on P.E.I..
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, Hummingbird Clearwing:
Also an orangey-pink prepupal form. 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:
honeysuckle (Lonicera), Coralberry, viburnums, Blue Dogbane
(Apocynum) dwarf bush honeysuckle (Diervilla lonicera).
Horn: black with yellow base.
Slender Clearwing or Graceful Clearwing
This day-flying moth is less common.
Eumorpha achemon fourth instar, Windham Centre, Norfolk County, July 27, 2011, Lynda Amorim
Grape (Vitis), Virginia Creeper
(Parthenocissus quinquefolia) ather vines/ivies
Mature larvae occur in many colours: light green; tan/brown; orangey. Note six "segmented" oblique lines.
Immatures are often pinkish-red
with long, curved anal horns.
Eumorpha pandorus fifth instars on Engelmans's Ivy, August 1, 2011, Kingston, Gayle Beauregard.
common, Pandorus Sphinx:
If you have Grape or Virginia Creeper nearby, then you might encounter
this species. Note five large white ovals. Orangey-brown and green
Eumorpha pandorus green fifth instar, Mississauga, Peel Region, August 21, 2014, Caymen Vieira.
Virginia creeper; Grape (Vitis),
ampelopsis (Ampelopsis), cayenne pepper (Capsicum).
Larvae are green until final instar.
common, Azalea Sphinx:
Azalea, Viburnum; rapid growth.
Larva to left on Viburnum cassinoides is getting ready to
pupate. Color change from green to light burgundy-brown indicates
pupation is imminent.
Darapsa myron common, Virginia Creeper Sphinx; Grapevine Sphinx:
If you have the
foodplants indicated in common names, you probably have this
species nearby. Lwer wings: orange.
Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia),
Grape (Vitis), Ampelopsis, Viburnum.
If you have hydrangea growing near a stream, then you may have the
the Lettered Sphinx:
This species has been recorded in Ontario, and it is an early
Larvae feed on grape foliage and on Virginia Creeper.
the Leafy Spurge Hawkmoth:
This species has been introduced into Ontario to try to control
the spread of leafy spurge.
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.
the Yellow-banded Day Sphinx:
This day flier is officially reported from Ontario, but it
maynot be common. Look for them in meadows near coniferous forests.
Sphecodina abbottii (dark form) larva, Kenora, July 18, 2014, Irma and Greg Gerhmann
the Abbott's Sphinx:
Larvae feed at night on grape (Vitis) and ampelopsis
(Ampelopsis) and hide on the bark of their host plants during
the day. Virginia creeper would also be a suitable host. There is also a dark form
without the green patches. Note the "raised eye", replacing the anal
Sphecodina abbottii (green blotch form) larva, Muskoka, August 1, 2014, Emilie Shaw