WO, Elm Sphinx; Four-horned Sphinx: Both brown and green forms and are unmistakeable
due to four horns on thorax (near the head). Elm (Ulmus), birch (Betula), basswood (Tilia), and
WO, Waved Sphinx: Pinkish-orange tail, spiracles outlined in red; cream
stripes on head. Dramatic color change from dorsal
yellow-green to lateral light greyish-blue is not always
as intense as in this image.
Dolba hyloeus WO, Pawpaw Sphinx: Smooth skin, blue-black horn, small black spiracles.
Pawpaw, littleleaf sweetfern, possum haw,inkberry, tall gallberry holly and others are also utilized.
Lapara bombycoides WO, Northern Pine Sphinx:
Without anal horn and feeds on pines. The long stripes and reddish brown afford great camouflage.
WO, Hermit Sphinx:
Note triangular bump on thorax. Beebalm (Monarda), mints (Mentha), bugleweed (Lycopis),
WO, Five-spotted Hawkmoth:
Note solid black horn; dark spiracular rings. In addition to white
oblique lines, there are fainter white rings, especially on back.
I suspect if you grow tomatoes, you are likely to encounter it.
Sphinx canadensis WO,
Sphinx canadensis, Canadian Sphinx: Uncommon at lights, not often reported anywhere.
Larval host may be exclusively black ash (Fraxinus nigra).
Variable appearance but always with granulous (darker protrusions) on pinkish horn.
Sphinx chersis WO, Northern Ash Sphinx, Great Ash Sphinx
Pale blue horn; creamy-white stripes on head. Yellow form has red horn. Ash, lilac, privet, cherry and quaking aspen.
WO, Wild Cherry Sphinx: Larvae hide by day, feed primarily on cherry, plum, apple
at night. Amelanchier nantuckensis in Massachusetts; reared to pupation in Michigan on
Prunus serotina. Note purple oblique lines.
Sphinx gordiusWO,Apple Sphinx:
Apple (Malus), sweetfern (Myrica), Carolina rose (Rosa carolina), blueberry, huckleberry
(Vaccinium), white spruce (Picea glauca), American larch (Larix laricina), alder (Alnus).
Sphinx kalmiae WO, Laurel Sphinx:
In the final instar, the black on the head, lateral lines, horn and on abdominal
legs is diagnostic.
Larvae feed primarily on lilac and fringe.
the Canadian Sphinx or
Larval hosts are willow (Salix), poplar (Populus), birch (Betula), apple (Malus), ash (Fraxinus), waxmyrtle
(Morella), and northern bayberry.
If you have blueberries in the woods, then you probably have the
The green form is more common.
the Walnut Sphinx:
Amorpha juglandis larvae feed upon Walnut and butternut (Juglans),
hickory (Carya), alder (Alnus), beech (Fagus),
hazelnut (Corylus), and hop-hornbeam (Ostrya).
the Modest Sphinx or Poplar Sphinx:
The anal horn is very rudimantary in final inistar. It is fond
of poplars and
the Blinded Sphinx:
Larvae accept willows, birches, and cherries.
I have also found them in the wild on oak in eastern Canada.
the Small-eyed Sphinx:
Wild cherry species are the favorites as larval foodplants, but eggs
will also be deposited on birches and other forest trees.
There are varying degrees in the amount of red markings along the sides.
WO, Cerisy's Sphinx:
Pale green, with granular skin, pale lateral diagonal lines, faint red
spiracular circles, very pale longitudinal lines running from head to more pronounced anal diagonal line.
Green heads bounded dorsally with pale yellow inverted V.
the Twin-spotted Sphinx:
Larvae feed upon many forest trees including birches and cherries,
but are expecially fond of poplars and willows. Red markings on sides
vary greatly from specimen to specimen.
Hemaris thysbe WO, 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.
honeysuckle (Lonicera), Coralberry, viburnums, Blue Dogbane
(Apocynum), dwarf bush honeysuckle (Diervilla lonicera).
Black horn, yellow base.
Hemaris gracilis WO, Slender Clearwing, Graceful Clearwing:
Distinguished from similar species by pair of
red-brown bands on undersides of thorax, which varies from
green to yellow-green dorsally and sometimes brown with white
underneath. Red abdomen/legs.
Eumorpha achemon WO ??, Achemon Sphinx:
Grape (Vitis), Virginia Creeper
(Parthenocissus quinquefolia), other vines, ivies
Larvae occur in both light (green) form and darker (tan/brown/reddish)
forms. Note six "segmented" oblique lines. 4
WO, Pandorus Sphinx:
If you have Grape or Virginia Creeper nearby, then you might encounter
this species. Note the five large white ovals (ovals can be orange on green forms). There are orangey-brown and green
the Nessus Sphinix:
In additon to Virginia creeper larvae accept Grape (Vitis),
ampelopsis (Ampelopsis), and cayenne pepper (Capsicum).
Larvae are green until the final instar.
Azalea, Viburnum; progress very rapidly.
Larva to left on Viburnum cassinoides is getting ready to
pupate. Color change from green to light burgundy-brown indicates
pupation is imminent.
the Virginia Creeper Sphinx or the
If you have the
foodplants indicated in the common names, you probably have this
species nearby. The lower wings are orange.
Larvae feed on Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia),
Grape (Vitis), Ampelopsis, and Viburnum.
Smooth hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens),
buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis), waterwillow
Note small head which can be retracted into the thorax.
the Lettered Sphinx:
Grape (Vitis), ampelopsis (Ampelopsis), and
Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus).
Alternating yellow and greyish-green rings across the back
distinguish this larva.
Hyles gallii fifth instar, September 1, 2013, Jackie Kincaid
WO, Bedstraw Hawk Moth, Gallium Sphinx:
Blackor brown forms; Epilobium (fireweed).
WO, White-lined Sphinx:
Highly varied; willow weed (Epilobium), four o'clock (Mirabilis),
apple (Malus), evening primrose (Oenothera), elm
(Ulmus), grape (Vitis), tomato (Lycopersicon),
purslane (Portulaca), Fuschia. Red/black swellings split by
Proserpinus flavosfasciata WO,
Yellow-banded Day Sphinx: Penultimate instar is pale green with pair of pale, dorsolateral lines running from head to base of short caudal horn.
Last instar is brown-black with numerous black dots; caudal horn replaced by a black button surrounded by whitish band edged with black.
Larvae feed at night on grape (Vitis) and ampelopsis
(Ampelopsis) and hide on the bark of their host plants during
the day. Virginia creeper would also be a suitable host. There is also a dark form
without the green patches. Note the "raised eye", replacing the anal horn.