USGS Pink-spotted hawkmoth,
This moth is a very strong flier, but would only make its way to
Chester County as a rare stray. There are not too many records from
Pennsylvania, but records exist for NJ and CT.
the Elm Sphinx or Four-horned Sphinx
The upperside of the forewing is brown with dark brown and white
markings including a white costal area near the wing base, dark
streaks along the veins, and a white spot in the cell.
Larvae feed on Elm (Ulmus), birch (Betula), basswood (Tilia), and
The upperside of the forewing is yellowish brown with no white
markings, but there are indistinct black lines and dashes. The cell
spot is gray with a black outline.
The larvae feed in large groups and are much more
spectacular than the moths. Catalpa is the larval host.
The upperside of the forewing is pale brownish gray with wavy black
and white lines and a black-outlined white cell spot.
It is named for the wavy lines on the forewings.
The upperside of the forewing is dark brown with a dusting of white
scales. Some moths have patches of reddish or yellowish brown on the
The upperside of the forewing is gray with heavy black bands. The
upperside of the hindwing is brownish gray with no markings.
The upperside is of the forewing is gray with two (sometimes one or
three) black dashes near the wing center; other markings are usually
diffuse. The upperside of the hindwing is a uniform brown-gray.
The upperside of the forewing is gray-brown with wavy lines, black
dashes, and one or two small white spots near the center of the costa.
Larval hosts are various species of beebalm (Monarda), mints (Mentha), bugleweed (Lycopis),
and sage (Salvia).
The upperside of forewing is gray to grayish brown with a black line
running from the middle of the costa to the middle of the outer
margin; the line may be broken near the margin. There is a splash of
brown around the cell spot.
the Five-spotted Hawkmoth
The moth abdomen usually has five but sometimes six pairs of yellow
bands. The upperside of the forewing is blurry brown and gray.
I suspect if you grow tomatoes, you are likely to encounter it.
The abdomen of the adult moth has three pairs of yellow spots. The
upperside of the forewing is yellowish brown to deep chocolate brown
with a dusting of white scales and zigzagged black and white lines.
The abdomen usually has six pairs of yellow bands, broken across the
back. The sixth set of markings is quite small.
The upperside of the forewing has indistinct black, brown, and white
If you grow tomatoes, you have probably encountered it, though.
The upperside of the forewing is gray with indistinct black and
white markings. There is a series of black dashes
from the base to the tip, and a small white cell spot.
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.
Forewings, long and slender, are held close to the body when the moth
is at rest.
The outer margins of the forewings are slightly concave in the
male, but not in the female. The costal half of the forewings are
grey, but the posterior portion is a distinctive warm yellowish-brown.
The upperside of the forewing ranges from brown with black borders
through brownish gray with paler borders to pale gray with no borders.
Dashes, submarginal line, and cell spot are usually weak.
The lower forewings are predominantly brownish-yellow with a fairly
wide dark bar along the inner margin. At rest the wings hug the body,
giving the moth a long slender look.
The adults are also highly variable; sometimes wings of an individual
may be all one color or may have several colors, ranging from pale to
dark brown, and may have a white or pink tinge. Patterns range from
faint to pronounced.
See the file for the female; she is different.
the Modest Sphinx or Poplar Sphinx
This moth is officially recorded in Chester County. It is fond
of poplars and
This moth has a large, heavy body, and females can be remarkably plump.
Both sexes rest with wings parallel to the resting surface, with the upper lobes of the hindwings protruding above the forewings.
The lower abdomen of the male arcs upward toward the head, while the abdomen of the female hangs strait down on a vertical surface.
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.
Paonias myops USGS, the Small-eyed Sphinx
Named for the small eye-spot in the hindwing, this moth has a wide
distribution. Both sexes rest with wings parallel to the resting
surface, with the upper lobes of the hindwings protruding above the
Smerinthus jamaicensis closely resembles Smerinthus cerisyi, but jamaicensis is much smaller with larger blue patches on more
vibrant and deeper purple in the lower wings.
See Hemaris comparison to help distinguish
the next three species.
USGS, the Hummingbird Clearwing
It is not difficult to see why many gardeners would mistake an
Hemaris thysbe moth for a small hummingbird as it hovers,
sipping nectar from flowers through a long feeding tube.
Snowberry Clearwing or Bumblebee Moth
Adults mimic bumblebees and are quite variable, both geographically
and seasonally. The wings are basically clear, with dark brown to
brownish-orange veins, bases and edges. The thorax is golden-brown to
Hemaris gracilis WO, the
Slender Clearwing or Graceful Clearwing
Hemaris gracilis is distinguished from similar species by a pair of
red-brown bands on the undersides of the thorax, which varies from
green to yellow-green dorsally and sometimes brown with white
underneath. They have a red abdomen. unlikely
This moth is officially reported for Chester County, and
it is fairly often reported
along the coast from southern New Jersey
to central Maine.
Note the differences between this moth and the Pandorus Sphinx.
Eumorpha pandorus, Phoenixville, July 30, 2009, James Kolter.
If you have Grape or Virginia Creeper nearby, then you probably have
I have often seen them in Pottersville, New Jersey (Hunterdon County).
Eumorpha pandorus, East Goshen Township, July 4, 2010, Glennda Howe.
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.
The lower wings of this hawkmoth are a solid brownish-orange,
matching the body colour.
You will often see this species listed as Darapsa pholus,
especially in older literature.
They are common
in Hunterdon County.
USGS, the Virginia Creeper Sphinx or the Grapevine Sphinx
The forewing upperside is dark brown to pale yellowish gray, with an
On the costal margin there is a dark rectangular patch, although this
may be reduced or absent. The upperside of the hindwing is pale
If you have hydrangea growing near a stream, then you may have the
The forewing upperside is often greenish brown
with curved dark lines and pinkish-white patches.
The moth's outer margin of the forewing is deeply scalloped.
The upperside is light brown with dark brown markings.
There is a small black and white spot near the tip
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.
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 and Virginia Creeper are popular larval hosts.
The upperside of the forewing is pale brown with lavender-gray at the
base and has dark brown lengthwise lines throughout. The upperside of
the hindwing is dark brown with a band of whitish, wedge-shaped marks.