Created/dedicated as per personal communication with Jackie Monroe, re. image taken by Maggie Monroe, September 13, 2010
Updated as per James P. Tuttle's The Hawk Moths of North America, September 13, 2010
Updated as per BAMONA, formerly USGS, September 13, 2010
Updated as per personal communication with Curt Lehman, Forest Hills, August 5, 1996; August 7, 2011
Updated as per personal communication with Jana Klausman, September 5, 2012; July 28, 2013
Hemaris thysbe, Pittsburg, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania,
September 4, 2010, courtesy of Maggie Monroe, via Jackie Monroe.
This site has been created by
Bill Oehlke at firstname.lastname@example.org
Comments, suggestions and/or additional information/sightings are welcomed by Bill.
Jackie writes, "My parents recently took a road trip along the east coast and they found two interesting insects that I was hoping you could help me identify. The first two pictures I believe to be a Hummingbird Clearwing moth that they spotted sipping nectar from a butterfly bush in Pittsburgh, PA. The last two pictures I think may be a Swallowtail caterpillar that was crossing the sidewalk in Maryland. What do you think?"
I confirmed the sighting of Hemaris thysbe and indicated the butterfly larva was that of Papilio (Pterourus) glaucus, the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail.
Fifty Sphingidae species are listed for Pennsylvania on the U.S.G.S. (now BAMONA) website. Not all of the species are reported or anticipated in Allegheny County (twenty-eight are reported on U.S.G.S. as of September 13, 2010). It is hoped that this checklist, with the thumbnails and notes, will help you quickly identify the moths you are likely to encounter.
A "WO" after the species name indicates that I (William Oehlke) expect that this moth is present or might be present.
A "USGS" indicates the moth is reported on the USGS website and/or in Lepidoptera of North America, #1. Distribution of Silkmoths (Saturniidae) and Hawkmoths (Sphingidae) of Eastern North America, 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 electronic image, via email to Bill Oehlke.
Many thanks to Jana Klausman who has provided images and data for Eumorpha pandorus and Hemaris thysbe.
Hemaris thysbe, Pittsburg, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania,
July 27, 2013, courtesy of Jana Klausman.
"I wanted to Thank You again for your site and also wanted to share a couple pictures of what I saw today."
Visit Allegheny County Sphingidae Larvae
Visit Pennsylvania Catocala (Underwing Moths)
See Hemaris comparison to help distinguish the next three species.
Hemaris thysbe, Pittsburg, September 4, 2010, courtesy of Maggie Monroe, via Jackie Monroe.
Snowberry Clearwing or Bumblebee Moth
Slender Clearwing or Graceful Clearwing
Eumorpha achemon USGS, the Achemon Sphinx: Adults nectar from flowers of Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica), petunia (Petunia hybrida), mock orange (Philadelphus coronarius), and phlox (Phlox). If you have Grape or Virginia Creeper nearby, then you probably have this species.
Eumorpha pandorus USGS/JK, the Pandorus Sphinx
If you have Grape or Virginia Creeper nearby, then you probably have this species.
Amphion floridensis USGS, the Nessus Sphinix
This day flier is widely distributed. If you have Virginia Creeper, you probably have the Nessus Sphinx. Two bright, distinct, narrow yellow bands are often visible on the abdomen.
Darapsa choerilus USGS, the Azalea Sphinx
They are common in Pennsylvania and common here on Prince Edward Island.
You will often see this species listed as Darapsa pholus, especially in older literature. Hindwings are the same colour as the abdomen.
Darapsa myron USGS, the Virginia Creeper Sphinx or the Grapevine Sphinx. Fw upperside dark brown to pale yellowish gray, with an olive tint. On costal margin there is dark rectangular patch, although this may be reduced or absent. Hw upperside is pale orange.
Darapsa versicolor USGS, the Hydrangea Sphinx
If you have hydrangea growing near a stream, then you may have the Hydrangea Sphinx. If it is present, it probably is not common.
Deidamia inscriptum USGS, the Lettered Sphinx
This small species flies in the early spring.
Grape (Vitis), ampelopsis (Ampelopsis), and Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus) all serve as larval hosts.
Hyles gallii USGS, the Bedstraw Hawk Moth or Gallium Sphinx
generally further north, southern range limit in PA
Hyles lineata USGS, the White-lined Sphinx
The forewing upperside is dark olive brown with paler brown along the costa and outer margin, a narrow tan band running from the wing tip to the base, and white streaks along the veins.
Sphecodina abbottii USGS, the Abbott's Sphinx
This moth is very much under reported across the United States. It is a rapid day flier so is probably not in too many collections. Grape is a popular larval host.
Xylophanes tersa USGS, the Tersa Sphinx
This moth is much more common to the south. It is a strong migrant, however. likely as a stray from further south or east
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.
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.
Show appreciation for this site by clicking on flashing butterfly to the left.
The link will take you to a page with links to many insect sites.
I very much appreciate all the many images that have been sent to me, or of which I have been granted permission to copy and post from other websites. All images on this site remain the property of respective photographers.
If you would like to contribute to the maintenace of this website by sending a contribution to
155 Peardon Road
Montague, Prince Edward Island, C0A1R0
your donation would be much appreciated and would be used for
1) paying for webspace rental;
2) paying for computer maintenance and software upgrades;
3) purchases of additional text reference material (journals and books) in anticipation of expanding the site to a worldwide Sphingidae site;
4) helping to pay my daughter's tuition (completed spring of 2013); with anything left over going to humanitarian aid.
If you are mailing a check from USA, please use $1.10 (2013) postage. Donations can also be made through Paypal via the button below.