Quebec, Canada
Sphingidae Larvae

Sphecodina abbottii larva (brown form), downtown Montreal, Quebec,
July 24, 2009, courtesy of Jennifer Morrison.

I have listed forty-two species in Quebec, many of them as non resident migrants or strays whose larvae would not be present and are therefore not depicted.

Larvae often show considerable variation.

For care of "found larvae/caterpillars" visit Manduca sexta larva, central Texas, August 21, 2008, Trina Woodall.

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 Mike Guetta for the following image:

Ceratomia amyntor mature larva, St. Urban Street, Plateau Mont-Royal,
Montreal, Quebec, September 11, 2013, courtesy of Mike Guetta.

Visit Quebec Sphingidae: Adult Moths

Visit Quebec Catocala: Underwing Moths

Sphinginae subfamily

Sphingini tribe:

Ceratomia amyntor occasional, Elm Sphinx, Four-horned Sphinx: Larvae feed on Elm (Ulmus), birch (Betula), basswood (Tilia), cherry (Prunus). Both green and brown forms. four horns near head are diagnostic.

Ceratomia amyntor, Plateau Mont-Royal, Montreal, September 11, 2013, Mike Guetta.

Ceratomia catalpae, Catalpa Sphinx: Young larvae, mostly white, feed gregariously on Catalpa species (Catalpa bignoniodes; C. speciosa) in Bignoniaceae family, skeletonizing foliage. generally more southerly

Ceratomia undulosa common, Waved Sphinx: Fraxinus, Ligustrum, Quercus, Crataegus, Chionanthus virginicus. Fifth instar spiracular ovals are decidedly red; anal horn is off-white to pinkish laterally.

Dolba hyloeus present, Pawpaw Sphinx: Pawpaw (Asimina triloba), littleleaf sweetfern (Myrica aspleniifolia), possum haw (Ilex decidua), inkberry (Ilex glabra), Tall Gallberry Holly (Ilex coriacea). Ilex verticellata in Quebec.

Lapara bombycoides abundant, Northern Pine Sphinx: If you have pines, you probably have this species. It flies on P.E.I.

Lintneria eremitus present, Hermit Sphinx: Larval hosts are various species of beebalm (Monarda fistulosa), mints (Mentha), bugleweed (Lycopis), and sage (Salvia).

Manduca quinquemaculatus common, Five-spotted Hawkmoth: Tomato Hornworms; black horn at the end of the abdomen. Larvae feed on potato, tobacco, tomato, and other plants in the nightshade family (Solanaceae).

Sphinx canadensis present, Sphinx canadensis, Canadian Sphinx, uncommon, not often reported anywhere. I believe they are present in Nova Scotia. Larval hosts: white ash (Fraxinus americana), blueberry (Vaccinium).

Sphinx chersis abundant, Northern Ash Sphinx, Great Ash Sphinx: Probably common. Ash, lilac, privet, cherry, and quaking aspen. Note pale blue horn.

Sphinx drupiferarum abundant, Wild Cherry Sphinx: This species is officially reported in Quebec. We have them on P.E.I., but I do not see them nearly as frequently as I see the other Sphingidae.

Sphinx gordius, Apple Sphinx: It is probably Sphinx poecila that is present in Quebec and not gordius.

Sphinx kalmiae, Laurel Sphinx: Lilac, fringe, privet, white ash. Note "white leggings" above "black boots" on prolegs and black tip on green "horn".

Sphinx luscitiosa present, Canadian Sphinx, Clemen's Sphinx: Generally not common.

Sphinx poecila abundant, Poecila Sphinx: If you have blueberries in the woods, then you might have the Poecila Sphinx. They are pretty common here on Prince Edward Island. Larvae can be purple or green.

Smerinthini Tribe:

Amorpha juglandis present, Walnut Sphinx: Ffeed upon Walnut and butternut (Juglans), hickory (Carya), alder (Alnus), beech (Fagus), hazelnut (Corylus), and hop-hornbeam (Ostrya).

Pachysphinx modesta common, the Modest Sphinx or Poplar Sphinx. Larvae feed on poplars and cottonwood.

Paonias excaecata common, Blinded Sphinx

Larvae accept willows, birches, and cherries. I have also found them in the wild on oak in eastern Canada.

Paonias myops present, Small-eyed Sphinx: Named for the small eye-spot in the hindwing, this moth has a wide distribution and is probably common in Quebec. I regularly see them on Prince Edward Island, and they are reported as far south as Florida.

Smerinthus cerisyi common, Cerisyi's Sphinx: Found in southern regions of all Canadian provinces, northern border states. At my home in Montague, P.E.I., Canada, they are quite common.

Smerinthus cerisyi and Smerinthus ophthalmica are very similar and both are found in the Pacific Northwest.

Smerinthus jamaicensis common, Twin-spotted Sphinx: Birches and cherries, expecially fond of poplars and willows. Red markings on sides vary greatly from specimen to specimen.

Macroglossinae subfamily

Dilophonotini tribe:

See Hemaris comparison to help distinguish the next three species.

Hemaris thysbe common, Hummingbird Clearwing: There is also an orangey-pink prepupal form. The lateral line runs from S1 to the blue horn. Hemaris thysbe larvae feed on viburnum and related plants.

Hemaris diffinis, Snowberry Clearwing: Snowberry (Symphoricarpos), honeysuckle (Lonicera), Coralberry, viburnums, Blue Dogbane (Apocynum), dwarf bush honeysuckle (Diervilla lonicera). Horn: black, yellow base.

Hemaris gracilis rare, Slender Clearwing, Graceful Clearwing: This day-flying moth is less common.

Philampelini tribe:

Eumorpha achemon present, Achemon Sphinx: Grape (Vitis), Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia), other vines, ivies (Ampelopsis). Both light (green) form and darker (tan/brown) form. Note six "segmented" oblique lines.

Eumorpha pandorus present, Pandorus Sphinx: If you have Grape or Virginia Creeper nearby, then you might encounter pandorus. Notee five large white ovals. Orangey-brown; green forms also.

Macroglossini tribe:

Amphion floridensis common, Nessus Sphinix: In additon to Virginia creeper larvae accept Grape (Vitis), ampelopsis (Ampelopsis), cayenne pepper (Capsicum). Larvae are green until the final instar.

Darapsa choerilus, Azalea Sphinx: Azalea, Viburnum, progress rapidly. Larva, left, on Viburnum cassinoides, getting ready to pupate. Color change from green to light burgundy-brown indicates imminent pupation.

Darapsa myron, Virginia Creeper Sphinx, Grapevine Sphinx: If you have foodplants indicated in common names, you probably have myron. Lower wings: orange. Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia), Grape (Vitis), Ampelopsis, Viburnum.

Darapsa versicolor rare if present, the Hydrangea Sphinx

If you have hydrangea growing near a stream, then you may have the Hydrangea Sphinx.

Deidamia inscriptum common, Lettered Sphinx: This species has been recorded in Quebec, and it is an early season flier. Larvae feed on grape foliage and on Virginia Creeper.

Hyles euphorbiae introduced, Leafy Spurge Hawkmoth: This species has been introduced into Quebec to try to control the spread of leafy spurge.

Hyles gallii present, Bedstraw Hawk Moth, Gallium Sphinx: Some years I see them on P.E.I., some years, I do not. Larvae can be quite variable.

Proserpinus flavofasciata, Yellow-banded Day Sphinx: Day flier, probably uncommon. Look for them in meadows near coniferous forests.

Sphecodina abbottii common, Abbott's Sphinx: Larvae feed at night on grape (Vitis), ampelopsis (Ampelopsis); hide on bark of their host plants during day. Virginia creeper would also be a suitable host. Also a dark form without the green patches. Note the "raised eye", replacing the anal horn.

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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