Umatilla County, Oregon
Pachysphinx occidentalis, Hermiston, Umatilla County, Oregon,
July 22, 2008, courtesy of Don Gillis.
Twenty-three Sphingidae species are listed for Oregon. Not all of
the species are reported or anticipated in Umatilla 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 Umatilla 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
Thanks to Stewart Wechsler SW for his sighting
Don Gillis also sends the Arctonotus lucidus image at the bottom of the page.
This species is present (reported) and larvae feed on tomatoes and go
by the common name of "Tomato Hornworms".
Although not reported from Umatilla, 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
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.
the Modest Sphinx or Poplar Sphinx,
This large poplar/willow feeder is reported in Umatilla.
They are a heavy bodied species. Forewing lines are less distinct than in more
yellowish P. occidentalis.
Pachysphinx occidentalis, Hermiston, July 22, 2008, Don Gillis
Look for a distinct am line.
This one is quite similar to Pachysphinx modesta, with modesta being smaller and darker, and having less distinct fw lines.
There may be naturally occuring hybrids in Umatilla.
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 USGS, the Snowberry Clearwing or Bumblebee Moth
This species is reported from Umatilla, and this day flying moth
is widely distributed in Oregon.
Arctonotus lucidus, Don Gillis
Arctonotus lucidus USGS/DG, the Pacific Green
Sphinx Moth or Bear Sphinx
is recorded in Umatilla.
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 Umatilla County, but if
you have Gallium or Epilobium, you might have
populations of this species, but it is doubtful.
Stewart Wechsler, Blue Mountain area.
Hyles lineata SW, the White-lined Sphinx
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.
Stewart writes, "I most often remember seeing the moths around
Clarkia pulchella "Elkhorn Clarkia" / "Pink Fairies"- (less) and
later Epilobium brachycarpum (aka E. paniculatum) - "Tall Annual
Willowherb"- more (when few other plants were fresh and blooming)".
This species is reported from Umatilla 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 Umatilla, but it has
been found to the north, east, south and west in meadows near coniferous forests.
Arctonotus lucidus, Umatilla County, Oregon, courtesy of Don Gillis
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