Twenty-three Sphingidae species are listed for Oregon. Not all of
the species are reported or anticipated in Harney. 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 your county, but I
(William Oehlke) expect that this moth is 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
This species is possibly present (unreported) and larvae feed on tomatoes and go by the common name of
This species is probably present in Harney County, as it
has been reported from northern, western and eastern Oregon counties.
If you grow tomatoes,
you will likely encounter it in the garden as the moth is a very strong flier.
Sphinx chersis WO, the 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. This one is unlikely but possible.
Although not reported from Harney, I suspect it is present.
I only see them occasionally on P.E.I. despite visiting lights frequently.
The upperside of the forewing is dark grey to black with a
paler costa and pale area from the base to the wing's centre.
Prefered habitats include montane woodlands and mixed chaparral-type
Although unreported, I feel this species is probably present
in the desert and in pinyon-juniper woodlands.
USGS, the Snowberry Sphinx
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.
Pachysphinx modesta USGS,
the Modest Sphinx or Poplar Sphinx,
This large poplar/willow feeder is probably quite common in Harney.
They are a heavy bodied species.
This one is quite similar to Pachysphinx modesta, with modesta being smaller and darker.
There may be naturally occuring hybrids in Harney.
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 USGS,
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.
If you have willows and poplars nearby, you've probably got populations of
the Cerisyi's Sphinx.
The hindwings are quite striking.
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 diffinis WO, the Snowberry Clearwing or Bumblebee Moth
Although not officially reported from Harney, this day flying moth
is widely distributed in Oregon.
I suspect I will get reports from Harney County.
Arctonotus lucidus WO, the Pacific Green
Sphinx Moth or Bear Sphinx
Found to the north, east and west, this species
is probably present.
It tends to be an early spring flier, on the wing in the early
evening. It comes to lights at night.
Hyles gallii WO,
the Bedstraw Hawk Moth or Gallium Sphinx
This species is not officially reported from Harney County, but if
you have Gallium or Epilobium, you might have
populations of this species, but it is doubtful.
Hyles lineata USGS, the White-lined Sphinx
Dave McNeese sees this species regularly. 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.
Although not officially reported from Harney County, this day flier,
April-June, prefering oak woodland and pine-oak woodland in foothills,
is probably present. Moths nectar at a variety of flowers in the afternoon.
This day flier is not officially reported from Harney, but it has been
found to the northeast and northwest in meadows near coniferous forests.
Here are sighting records and general information for
Sphingidae in Harney County in
Dave McNeese, (12+) June 2, 2003, 4 miles west on Folly Farm Rd. to Juniper
Bruce Johnson, early August, Wildhorse Lake, Steens, 8,400 ft.
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