Yamhill County


Smerinthus ophthalmica male, Yamhill, Yamhill County, Oregon,
June 22, 2016, courtesy of Dawn Berry, id by Bill Oehlke.

This page is dedicated to Dawn Berry who provides the Smerinthus ophthalmica image at the top of the page. I am pretty sure it is ophthalmica, but it oculd also be the very similar Smerinthus cerisyi.

Twenty-three Sphingidae species are listed for Oregon. Not all of the species are reported or anticipated in Yamhill. 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. An * indicates the moth is reported in Moths of Western North America, #2. Distribution of Sphingidae of Western North America, revised, an excellent little booklet available through Paul Opler.

Dave McNeese DM has sent me some sighting data.

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.

Sphinginae subfamily

Sphingini tribe:

Manduca quinquemaculata, WO Five-spotted Hawkmoth
Likely present; larvae feed on tomatoes; go by common name of "Tomato Hornworms".

Manduca sexta, WO Carolina Sphinx
If present, it is likely uncommon as it is far from its more easterly/southerly range.
If you grow tomatoes, however, you might encounter it in the garden as the moth is a very strong flier.

Sphinx chersis *, Northern Ash Sphinx or Great Ash Sphinx
Fw upperside: soft dark gray to blue-gray with series of black dashes, one of which reaches wing tip.

Sphinx perelegans WO, Elegant Sphinx
Fw upperside 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 vegetation.

Sphinx sequoiae WO, Sequoiae Sphinx
This species is probably unlikely in Yamhill, preferring the pinyon-juniper woodlands of California. It has been reported in southern Oregon and also east of the Cascades.

Sphinx vashti WO, 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.

Smerinthini Tribe:

Paonias excaecata *, Blinded Sphinx
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.

Smerinthus cerisyi *, the Cerisyi's Sphinx

If you have willows and poplars nearby, you've probably got populations of the Cerisyi's Sphinx.

The hindwings are quite striking.

Smerinthus opthalmica MPNw/DB

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 opthalmica, off Rockyford Road, Yamhill, June 22, 2016, Dawn Berry

Macroglossinae subfamily

Dilophonotini tribe

Hemaris thysbe WO, the Hummingbird Clearwing

This species might be present, but reports from nearby counties may be confused with the more likely Hemaris diffinis.

Hemaris thetis WO, 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.

Macroglossini tribe

Hyles gallii WO, the Bedstraw Hawk Moth or Gallium Sphinx

This species is not officially reported from Yamhill County, but if you have Gallium or Epilobium, you probably have populations of this species.

Hyles lineata DM, 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.

Dave McNeese, May 3, 5, 8, 2005, 2 miles east of McMinnville.

Proserpinus clarkiae WO, Clark's Sphinx
Not officially reported from Yamhill 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.

Proserpinus flavofasciata WO, Yellow-banded Day Sphinx
Not officially reported from Yamhill, but is found to the east and may be present. Nectars during the day in meadows near coniferous forests.

Use your browser "Back" button to return to the previous page.

This page is brought to you by Bill Oehlke and the WLSS. Pages are on space rented from Bizland. If you would like to become a "Patron of the Sphingidae Site", contact Bill.

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.