Inspired by and dedicated to Shanese Myrick and Miquel Hill (Pachysphinx occidentalis, Orem); July 3, 2013
Updated as per James P. Tuttle's The Hawk Moths of North America, July 3, 2013
Updated as per BAMONA, July 3, 2013
Utah County, Utah
Pachysphinx occidentalis male, Orem, Utah County, Utah,
July 2, 2013, courtesy of Miquel Hill via Shanese Myrick.
This page is inspired by and dedicated to Shanese Myrick and Miquel Hill. Shanese has sent the Pachysphinx occidentalis image above,
courtesy of phtotgrapher Miquel Hill, from Orem, July 3, 2013.
Twenty-four Sphingidae species are listed on BAMONA for Utah. Not all of the species are reported by BAMONA (fifteen species
as of July 3, 2013) or anticipated in Utah County.
It is hoped that this checklist, with the thumbnails and notes, will help you quickly identify the moths you have encountered or are likely to encounter.
A WO" after the species name indicates that I have no confirmed reports of this species in Utah County, but I
(William Oehlke) expect that this moth is/may be present.
A BAMONA indicates the moth is reported on the BANMONA website and/or in Moths of Western
North America, #2. Distribution of Sphingidae of Western North America, revised,
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
image, via email to Bill Oehlke.
Please also send your sightings to BAMONA, an excellent online resource.
Sphinx chersis, and Sphinx vashti are quite similar. In Sphinx chersis the entire thorax is uniform light blue-grey with very narrow dark
Sphinx vashti lacks the checkered fringe on the hindwings.
BAMONA, the Pink-spotted Hawk Moth
This species has been reported in Utah County,
but would be there only as a stray.
The moth is a very strong flier and is frequently
encountered far north of its usual range.
This large bodied moth flies in tobacco fields and vegetable gardens
(potatoes, tomatoes) and wherever host plants are found.
This species is not recorded in Utah County, and would be an
unlikely possibility (usually more eastern in Utah).
If you grow tomatoes, however, you have may have encountered it.
Larvae get very large and can strip a tomato plant.
This species is not recorded in Utah County, but might be present
(usually more southerly).
It flies in pinyon-juniper woodland and similar arid situations in
Colorado (specimen type locality) and Nevada, Utah,
Arizona and New Mexico.
BAMONA, 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 reaching the wing tip. Note grey
thorax with narrow black lines.
It flies in arid brushlands and desert foothills.
This species is officially reported for Utah County.
I only see them only occasionally on P.E.I. despite visiting lights frequently.
This species is confirmed in Weber County by James P. Tuttle, in a disjoint population
from its more common eastern distribution/range.
Note the pm line, absent in Sphinx poecila which flies
more to the north.
The terminal area, especially near the anal angle, is much darker
in Sphinx gordius than
in Sphinx poecila.
the Canadian Sphinx or
This one is reported from Utah County.
BAMONA,, the Snowberry Sphinx,
Snowberry Sphinx adults fly as a single brood in montane woodlands and along prairie
streamcourses from April to August.
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 at the apex.
the Modest Sphinx or Poplar Sphinx,
This large poplar/willow feeder is possibly in Weber County.
They are a heavy bodied species.
This one is quite similar to Pachysphinx modesta, with modesta
being smaller and darker.
Moths should be on the wing from June-August.
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.
Paonias myops BAMONA,,
the Small-eyed Sphinx
This small species is probably probably present as it
ranges across North America.
The hindwings have a small blue eyespot ringed with black on a yellow background.
BAMONA,, the Cerisyi's
Sphinx or One-eyed Sphinx,
Larvae feed on poplars and willows.
Flight would be from late May-July as a single brood.
Hemaris thetis BAMONA, the Thetis Clearwing
Hemaris thetis is a very variable species, but almost always the abdomen sports contrasting black and
yellow hairs, the ventral surface being quite black. The legs also tend to be quite dark and there is a black mask
running across the eye and along the sides of the thorax.
This moth is not recorded for Utah County,
but it might be present wherever grapes are found.
Fight would be from June to August. Larvae feed on grape foliage.
WO very doubtful; more southerly,
Wiest's Primrose Sphinx
Euproserpinus wiesti adults fly, during the day, over sand washes
blow-outs as a single brood from May-June.
the White-lined Sphinx
Adults usually fly at dusk, during the night, at dawn, and during the
day. Moths nectar at salvia and oviposit on a number of different
Adults fly in the afternoon from April-June in oak woodland and
pine-oak woodland in foothills, nectaring from chia, heartleaf
milkweed, golden currant, bluedicks, fairyfans, vetches,
thistles, hedgenettles, etc.
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WLSS. Pages are on space rented from Bizland. If you would like
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Please send sightings/images to Bill. I will do my best to respond to
requests for identification help.
Enjoy one of nature's wonderments: Live
Saturniidae (Giant Silkmoth) cocoons.