Twenty-three Sphingidae species are listed in the USGS (now BAMONA) for Oregon. Not all of the species are reported
(only one by USGS, Smerinthus cerisyi) or anticipated in Clatsop.
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 Clatsop County, but I
(William Oehlke) expect that this moth is present.
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.
Mike Patterson, Astoria, MP has been sending sighting data.
You can visit additional Phingidae checklist for all US states, all Canadian provinces and all countries in North, Central, South America and
the Carribean Islands at Sphingidae Checklists.
Additional checklists are available for
Linn County, Oregon, Sphingidae larvae (caterpillars), and
Oregon Catocala (Underwing Moths).
WO, the Five-spotted Hawkmoth.
This large bodied moth flies in tobacco fields and vegetable gardens (potatoes, tomatoes)
and wherever host plants are found.
Sphinx chersis WO, Northern Ash
Sphinx or Great Ash Sphinx. The upperside of the forewing is soft dark gray to blue-gray with a series of black dashes,
one of which reaches the wing tip.
WO, Wild Cherry Sphinx. Forewings, long and slender, are held close to the body when the
moth is at rest. Note broad, light grey area along forewing costa.
Sphinx perelegans WO, Elegant Sphinx.
Adults fly in montane woodlands and mixed chaparral-type vegetation as a single brood
in the north, with adults mainly on the wing in June and July.
It flies from dusk until after midnight.
Sphinx vashti WO, Snowberry Sphinx.
Snowberry Sphinx adults fly as a single brood in montane woodlands and along prairie
streamcourses from April to August.
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 at the apex.
The outer margin of the forewing is quite wavy. There is a dark cell spot and a dark oblique line mid wing from the costa almost to the
inner margin. Basic ground colour is pinkish brown.
Flight would be June-July.
Mike Patterson, May 26, 2005, Astoria (more likely S. ophthalmica)
Smerinthus cerisyi MP, the Cerisyi's
Sphinx or One-eyed Sphinx,
Larvae feed on poplars and willows.
Flight would be from late May-July as a single brood.
Larvae feed on poplars, aspen and willows.
Note different shape of double arced forewing pm line compared to the straighter pm line of cerisyi, directly above.
S. ophthalmica has smoother scalloping of the fw outer margin.
Hemaris thysbe WO, the Hummingbird Clearwing,
Many gardeners mistake this moth for a small hummingbird as it
hovers, sipping nectar from flowers through a long feeding tube.
Flight is probably from late May-July and possibly again in the fall.
Hemaris thetis WO, the Thetis Clearwing or Bee Hawk Moth,
The moth flies along forest edges and in meadows, gardens and
brushy fields. Day-flying adults nectar at lantana, dwarf bush honeysuckle,
snowberry, orange hawkweed, thistles, lilac, Canada violet, etc.
Hyles gallii WO, the Bedstraw Hawk Moth or Gallium Sphinx
Larvae feed on Epilobium angustifolium and Galium.
flight is late May-July with a possible fall flight as well.
Mike Patterson, May 12, 2005, Neawanna Bird Banding Station, Seaside.
Hyles lineata MP, the White-lined Sphinx
Adults usually fly at dusk, during the night, and at dawn, but they
also fly during the day over a wide variety of open habitats
including deserts, suburbs, and gardens.
Mike writes, "Checking back to last year, the White-lined Sphinx Moth
spike was in mid-April."
Adults fly in the afternoon from April-June in oak woodland and
pine-oak woodland in foothills, nectaring from chia, heartleaf
milkweed, golden currant, bluedicks, fairyfans, vetches,
thistles, hedgenettles, etc.
Proserpinus flavofasciata adults fly from
April-June in meadows in coniferous forests. Adults fly during the
afternoon, nectaring from lilac, dandelion, cherry, etc.
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Please send sightings/images to Bill. I will do my best to respond to requests for identification help.
Enjoy some of nature's wonderments: Saturniidae cocoons.
Cocoons of the giant silkmoths may be purchased in the fall and winter. Big and beautiful giant silk moths will emerge in spring/summer.
Read Actias luna rearing article. Additional online help available.