Ceratomia amyntor WO, Elm Sphinx, Four-horned Sphinx:
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. Elm (Ulmus), birch (Betula), basswood (Tilia), cherry (Prunus).
Ceratomia undulosa USGS, Waved Sphinx:
Pale brownish gray (occasionally quite dark) with wavy black and white lines and black-outlined white cell spot. Hw: gray with diffuse darker bands.
Lapara bombycoides WO, Northern Pine Sphinx:
The upperside of the forewing is gray with heavy black bands. The upperside of the hindwing is brownish gray with no markings. Larvae feed on pines.
Sphinx eremitus adults nectaring at dusk on milkweed
July 17, 2007, courtesy of David Link.
Lintneria eremitus USGS/DL/JS, Hermit Sphinx:
Larval hosts are various species of beebalm (Monarda), mints (Mentha), bugleweed (Lycopis),
and sage (Salvia).
Gibraltar, larva and pupa: October 10, 2003, December 5, 2003; adult moth: June 23, 2004, courtesy of
Bailey's Harbor, July 30, 1999, courtesy of
USGS/JS, Five-spotted Hawkmoth:
Flies in tobacco fields, vegetable gardens
(potatoes, tomatoes), wherever host plants are found.
Bailey's Harbor, July 16, 2001, courtesy of Janice Stiefel.
Sphinx canadensis USGS/JS,
Canadian Sphinx: Uncommon, not often reported anywhere.
Larval hosts are white ash (Fraxinus americana) and blueberry
Sphinx chersis larva and adult moth,
Gibraltar, August 5, 2002, courtesy of Janice Stiefel.
Sphinx chersis WO/JS, Northern Ash Sphinx, Great Ash Sphinx:
Soft dark gray to blue-gray with series of black dashes, one of which reaches wing tip.
Gibraltar, May 20, 2003, courtesy of Janice Stiefel.
Sphinx drupiferarum JS, Wild Cherry Sphinx:
Probably flies in May/June and August. We have them on P.E.I., but I do not see them
nearly as frequently as I see the other Sphingidae.
Bailey's Harbor, July 16, 2003, courtesy of Janice Stiefel.
Sphinx kalmiae USGS/JS, Laurel Sphinx:
Predominantly brownish-yellow with fairly wide dark bar along inner margin. At rest wings
hug body, giving moth long slender look.
Sphinx luscitiosa male, 6:05pm, July 3, 2012, courtesy of Tim Borski.
Sphinx luscitiosa WO/TB, Canadian Sphinx:
Clemen's Sphinx: Yellowish gray in males; pale gray with faint yellow tint in females. Dark
border on the outer margin widens as it approaches the inner margin.
Bailey's Harbor, June 13, 2003, courtesy of
WO/JS, Poecila Sphinx:
If you have blueberries in the woods, then you probably have
Poecila Sphinx. They are probably widespread throughout Wisconsin,
but are very much under reported.
Amorpha juglandis USGS, Walnut Sphinx:
Highly variable; sometimes wings may be all one color or may have several colors,
ranging from pale to dark brown, may have white or pink tinge. Female is different.
Paonias excaecata USGS, Blinded Sphinx:
Fw outer margin quite wavy. Dark cell spot and dark oblique line mid wing from costa almost to the
inner margin. Basic ground colour is pinkish brown. Flight would be June-July.
Paonias myops Bailey's Harbor, August 6, 2004,
WO/JS, Small-eyed Sphinx: This species ranges across North America.
The hindwings have a small blue eyespot ringed with black on a yellow background.
Pachysphinx modesta USGS, Modest Sphinx, Poplar Sphinx:
This large poplar/willow feeder is reported in Door County.
They are a heavy bodied species.
Bailey's Harbor, June 6, 2001, courtesy of Janice Stiefel.
Bailey's Harbor, May 23, 2003, courtesy of
Smerinthus cerisyi USGS/JS, Cerisyi's Sphinx, One-eyed Sphinx.
Poplars, willows. Flight would be from late May-July as a single brood.
See Hemaris comparison to help distinguish the next three species.
Hemaris diffinis WO, Snowberry Clearwing:
Flies along forest edges, meadows, gardens,
brushy fields. Day-flying adults nectar at lantana, dwarf bush honeysuckle,
snowberry, orange hawkweed, thistles, lilac, Canada violet, etc.
Hemaris gracilis WO, Slender Clearwing, Graceful Clearwing:
This day flier is not commonly reported, but it might be present in
Door County. unlikely
Hemaris thysbe, July 2002 larva to May 2003 moth, courtesy of Janice Stiefel.
Hemaris thysbe WO/JS, Hummingbird Clearwing:
They are widely distributed in the east from P.E.I. to Florida.
Eumorpha achemon WO, Achemon Sphinx:
This moth is not reported for Door, but it may be present.
Note the differences between this moth and the Pandorus Sphinx.
Newport State Park, October 2, 2007, courtesy of
Eumorpha labruscae JS, Gaudy Sphinx:
Although primarily a tropical species, it has been taken as far north as Saskatchewan as a stray.
Forewings are a vibrant grey-green. Rare fall stray to Wisconsin
Eumorpha pandorus WO, Pandorus Sphinx:
If you have Grape or Virginia Creeper nearby, then you probably have this species. I often get asked to identify larvae from areas where
they have not previously been reported.
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.
Bailey's Harbor, July 2, 2003, courtesy of
They are common in New Jersey and common
here on Prince Edward Island.
You will often see this species listed as Darapsa pholus,
especially in older literature.
Bailey's Harbor, May 18, 2003, courtesy of
WO/JS, the Virginia Creeper Sphinx or the
This moth is not recorded on the U.S.G.S. site for Door County, but
Janice Stiefel confirms its presence there via a found larva that
overwintered in pupal stage
and emerged the following spring.
It is widely reported in southern Michigan and in southern Ontario.
This species has not been recorded in Door.
It is seen in southern Ontario, however, and in central and
WO, the Bedstraw Hawk Moth
or Gallium Sphinx
This species is not reported in Door, but it has been recorded in
other eastern Wisconsin counties. I suspect it is present.
Some years I see them on P.E.I., some years, I do not.
WO, the White-lined Sphinx
Adults usually fly at dusk, during the night, and at dawn, but they
also fly during the day over a wide variety of open habitats
including deserts, suburbs, and gardens.
Gibraltarr, July, 21, 2002, larva, subsequent moth
on April 25, 2003, courtesy of
This moth is very much under reported on USGS. It is a
rapid day flier so is probably not in too many collections.
Grape is a popular larval host.