Updated as per James P. Tuttle's The Hawk Moths of North America, June 2009
Updated as per personal communication with Edna Woodward, Wolf Creek, Josephine County; ongoing

Josephine County, Oregon


Hemaris thetis necaring at milkweed, Wolf Creek, Josephine Co., Oregon,
June 11, 2009, courtesy of Edna Woodward.

This page is dedicated to Edna Woodward of Wolf Creek, Josephine County, Oregon, for her abiding interest in lepidoptera.

Edna sends the images of Hemaris diffinis (now thetis) at top and bottom of this page, and she writes, "Remember last year (2008) I reported these in June and August? Well here they are. I saw one three days ago but couldn't get a pic and it rained the last 3 days. They are thick on the milkweed."

Edna has also verified Paonias excaecata and Sphinx sequoiae. She found a sphingid larva in summer of 2008, successfully overwintered the pupa and sent an image of the adult moth which emerged around 11:30 pm on June 29.

Edna has also been seeing the Sequoia Sphinx June 24-29 and has a female laying eggs on incense cedar.

She has also been able to confirm Sphinx chersis, Sphinx perelegans, Eumorpha achemon, Smerinthus cerisyi and Hyles lineata. She reports Arctonotus (now Proserpinus) lucidus on January 16, 2010 and again on February 2, 2010 with temperature around 35F.

ON April 30, 2014, she was able to take pictures of Sphinx vashti, confirming an expected presence in Josephine County.

Sphinx sequoiae male, Wolf Creek, Josephine County, Oregon,
June 29, 2009, courtesy of Edna Woodward.

Twenty-three Sphingidae species are listed in the USGS (now BAMONA) for Oregon. Not all of the species are reported (nine by USGS) or anticipated in Josephine.

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 Josephine 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.

Please also send your sightings to BAMONA, an excellent online resource.

Sphinginae subfamily

Sphingini tribe:

Manduca quinquemaculatus USGS, 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/EW, 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.
Sphinx chersis, Wolf Creek, July 17, 2009, Edna Woodward.

Sphinx drupiferarum WO, the Wild Cherry Sphinx
Forewings, long and slender, are held close to the body when the moth is at rest. We have them on P.E.I., but I do not see them nearly as frequently as I see the other Sphingidae.
Sphinx perelegans USGS/EW, the Elegant Sphinx. Sphinx perelegans 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 perelegans, Wolf Creek, June 11, 2009, July 16, 2009, Edna Woodward
Sphinx perelegans, Wolf Creek, August 19-20, 2009, Edna Woodward
Sphinx perelegans dark form, Wolf Creek, May 18, 2010, Edna Woodward.
Sphinx perelegans female, Wolf Creek, July 31, 2011, Edna Woodward.

Sphinx sequoiae USGS/EW, the Sequoiae Sphinx

This species is reported in Josephine.

Adults fly as a single brood in the desert and in pinyon-juniper woodland from May to August.

Sphinx sequoiae, Wolf Creek, June 24-28, 2009, Edna Woodward

Sphinx vashti WO/EW, the 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. generally more easterly in Oregon

Sphinx vashti, Wolf Creek, April 30, 2014, Edna Woodward.

Smerinthini Tribe:

Paonias excaecata USGS/EW, the Blinded Sphinx. 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.

Paonias excaecata, June 30, 2009, eclosion from found larva, reared on apple, Edna Woodward.
Paonias excaecata wild female, July 29, 2011, Wolf Creek, Edna Woodward.

Pachysphinx modesta USGS, the Modest Sphinx or Poplar Sphinx. This large poplar/willow feeder is probably rare (doubtful in Josephine County), the southern most limit of its western range. They are a heavy bodied species.

Pachysphinx occidentalis USGS, the Big Poplar Sphinx

This one is quite similar to Pachysphinx modesta, with modesta being smaller and darker.

Moths should be on the wing from June-August.

Smerinthus cerisyi USGS/more likely ophthalmica, 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, with a partial second brood on the wing in August-September.

Smerinthus opthalmica MPNw/EW
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.

Smerinthus ophthalmica, Wolf Creek, August 18, 2009, Edna Woodward.
Smerinthus ophthalmica males, Wolf Creek, June 12, 2010, Edna Woodward.

Macroglossinae subfamily

Dilophonotini Tribe:

Hemaris thysbe WO, 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, possibly again in fall. doubtful in Josephine County

Hemaris thetis WO/EW, 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.

Hemaris thetis, Wolf creek, June and August flights, 2008, Edna Woodward.
Hemaris thetis, June 8, 11, 2009, Edna Woodward.

Philampelini Tribe:

Eumorpha achemon USGS/EW, Achemon Sphinx. Probably rare in this northern most limit of its western range, athough Edna reports many vineyards and wild grapes in creek bottoms, so might be locally common. Fight would be from June to August.

Eumorpha achemon, Wolf Creek, July 17, 2009, Edna Woodward.
Eumorpha achemon adult, Wolf Creek, Edna Woodward, from reared larvae from eggs.

Macroglossini Tribe:

Hyles lineata WO/EW, 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.

Hyles lineata, Wolf Creek, July 4, 2009, Edna Woodward.

Proserpinus clarkiae WO, Clark's Sphinx,

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 WO, the Yellow-banded Day Sphinx. This species is probably in Josephine County. Adults fly as a single brood from April-June in meadows in coniferous forests. Adults fly during the afternoon.

Proserpinus lucidus USGS, the Pacific Green Sphinx Moth or Bear Sphinx. This species is confirmed in Josephine County.
It tends to be a winter to early spring flier, on the wing in the early evening. It comes to lights at night and can fly at temperatures at least as low as 35 F (EB).

Proserpinus lucidus, Wolf Creek, January 16, 2010, Edna Woodward.
Arctonotus lucidus, Wolf Creek, February 1, 2010, Edna Woodward.

Hemaris thetis necaring at milkweed, Wolf Creek, Josephine Co., Oregon,
June 11, 2009, courtesy of Edna Woodward.

Hemaris thetis necaring at milkweed, Wolf Creek, Josephine Co., Oregon,
June 11, 2009, courtesy of Edna Woodward.

Enjoy some of nature's wonderments, giant silk moth cocoons. These cocoons are for sale winter and fall. Beautiful Saturniidae moths will emerge the following spring and summer. Read Actias luna rearing article. Additional online help available.

Eggs of many North American species are offered during the spring and summer. Occasionally summer Actias luna and summer Antheraea polyphemus cocoons are available. Shipping to US destinations is done from with in the US.

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