Updated as per James P. Tuttle's The Hawk Moths of North America, August 12, 2011
Updated as per BAMONA; August 12, 2011
Dedicated as per personal comunication with Barb Griess; July 18, 2017
Brown County, South Dakota
Eumorpha achemon, Aberdeen, Brown County, South Dakota,
July 17, 2017, courtesy of Barb Griess.
This site has been created by Bill Oehlke.
Comments, suggestions and/or additional information/sightings are welcomed by Bill.
This page is dedicated to Barb Griess who provides the Eumorpha achemon image at top of page.
Sixteen Sphingidae species are listed for South Dakota on the BAMONA website as of August 12, 2011. All of those species plus some
additions are anticipated in Brown County (none are reported on BAMONA as of August 12, 2011). 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 (now BAMONA) and/or in Lepidoptera of North America, #1. Distribution of
Sphingidae of Western North America, an excellent little booklet available through Paul Opler. This booklet shows none for your county, but it provides useful
data for interpolations.
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.
Please also send your sightings to BAMONA, an excellent resource, via link at top of page or to the left.
Visit Brown County Sphingidae Larvae/caterpillars.
If you are travelling you can visit national checklists for all countries in North, Central and South America.
Visit South Dakota Catocala: Underwing Moths
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 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.
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 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 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 Walnut Sphinx.
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
It is fond of poplars and
This moth has a large, heavy body, and females can be remarkably
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.
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.
the Cerisyi's Sphinx,
Similar to jamaicensis, but jamaicensis is smaller with larger blue patches on more vibrant, deeper
purple in lower wings. Also note complete (i.e. outer margin to outer margin) off-white arc just below fw apex.
In cerisyi, lower portion of arc does not return to outer margin.
WO, the Titan Sphinx.
The body is dark brown with a wide white stripe across the abdomen.
The wings are dark brown. It is very similar to above species, but the
upperside of the hindwing has
pale patches along the costa and inner margin. if present, only as a stray
See Hemaris comparison to help distinguish
the next two species.
WO, 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
Eumorpha achemon, Aberdeen, July 17, 2017, Barb Griess
This moth is fairly often reported along the coast from southern New Jersey to central Maine.
Note the differences between this moth and the Pandorus Sphinx.
WO, 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
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
WO, the Spurge Hawk Moth
The body is light brown with various white and dark brown
markings, while the wings have a conspicuous tan, brown, and pink or
red color pattern.
Hyles gallii WO, the Bedstraw Hawk Moth or Gallium Sphinx
Larvae feed on Epilobium angustifolium and Galium.
expect flight is late May-July with a possible fall flight as well.
WO, 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.
The upperside of the forewing is pale gray-green with a deep
green-brown median area and a white dash at the wing tip.
rare if present
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 and Virginia Creeper are popular larval hosts. generally more easterly
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.
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