Updated as per James P. Tuttle's The Hawk Moths of North America, June 2009
Updated/dedicated as per personal communication with Ellen Castellini, (Smerinthus ophthalmica, Veneta, August, 9, 2013); August 10, 2013
Smerinthus ophthalmica, Veneta, Lane County, Oregon,
August 9, 2013, courtesy of Ellen Castellini
Twenty-three Sphingidae species are listed in the USGS for Oregon.
Not all of the species are reported (eleven by USGS,
Proserpinus flavofasciata and
or anticipated in Lane County.
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 Lane 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.
This page is dedicated to Ellen Castellini who provides the Smerinthus ophthalmica image at top of page.
I am pretty sure that the Smerinthus cerisyi and Hemaris diffinis, listed by USGS, are now considered to be
Smerinthus ophthalmica and Hemaris thetis, respectively. (Bill Oehlke)
Visit Lane County Sphingidae Larvae.
Visit Oregon Catocala: Underwing Moths.
USGS, 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 USGS, 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.
Sphinx perelegans USGS, 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.
Adults fly as a single brood in the desert and in pinyon-juniper
woodland from May to August.
Sphinx vashti USGS, 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.
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.
At one time S. ophthalmica was synonymized with S. cerisyi, but as of 2011
S. ophthalmica is recognized as a distinct species, and it seems to replace S. cerisyi in the Pacific Northwest of the United States.
Smerinthus cerisyi USGS??, 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 USGS, 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.
Despite USGS listing, this one is doubtful.
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 lineata USGS, 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.
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 USGS, the Yellow-banded Day Sphinx,
Proserpinus flavofasciata adults fly from
April-June in meadows in coniferous forests. Adults fly during the
afternoon, nectaring from lilac, dandelion, cherry, etc.
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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