Ceratomia amyntor larva, August 22-29, 2008, on birch, Ian Miller
the Elm Sphinx or Four-horned Sphinx
Larvae feed on Elm (Ulmus), birch (Betula), basswood
(Tilia), and cherry (Prunus).
There are both green and brown forms. The four horns near
the head are diagnostic.
Fraxinus, Ligustrum, Quercus, Crataegus and
Chionanthus virginicus are listed as hosts.
In the fifth instar, the spiracular ovals are decidedly red and the
anal horn is off-white to pinkish laterally.
USGS, the Pawpaw Sphinx
Larvae feed on pawpaw (Asimina triloba), littleleaf sweetfern
(Myrica aspleniifolia), possum haw (Ilex decidua), and
inkberry (Ilex glabra) as well as Tall Gallberry Holly
Lapara bombycoides, September 9, 2008, Ian Miller
This caterpillar is also without the anal horn and feeds on pines.
The long stripes and reddish brown afford great camouflage.
Note triangular bump on the thorax.
Larval hosts are various species of beebalm (Monarda), mints (Mentha), bugleweed (Lycopis),
and sage (Salvia).
Manduca quinquemaculatus adult with only four orange body spots on each side, August 16, 2009, Ian Miller
The caterpillars are called Tomato Hornworms and each has a black horn at the end of the abdomen.
Larvae feed on potato, tobacco, tomato, and other plants in the
nightshade family (Solanaceae).
Sphinx canadensis, the Canadian Sphinx, is not common, and is not
often reported anywhere,
but it should be present in Eau Claire County.
Larval hosts are white ash (Fraxinus americana) and blueberry
WO, the Northern Ash Sphinx or Great Ash
The larvae are pale bluish green. The head has a pair of yellow
lateral bands meeting at the apex. The oblique, lateral stripes are
pale and bordered anteriorly with a darker green.
Larval hosts are ash, lilac, privet, cherry, and quaking aspen.
Larvae hide in the day and feed primarily on cherry, plum, and apple
at night. Larvae have been found on Amelanchier nantuckensis
in Massachusetts and have been reared to pupation in Michigan on
Prunus serotina. Note purple oblique lines.
Larval hosts are apple (Malus), sweetfern (Myrica),
Carolina rose (Rosa carolina), blueberry and huckleberry
(Vaccinium), white spruce (Picea glauca), American
larch (Larix laricina), and alder (Alnus).
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
They are probably widespread throughout Wisconsin,
but are very much under reported.
Larvae feed on the common snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus)
and on coralberry (S. orbiculatus).
Note the two golden lines
of slightly raised bumps, one just behind the head, the other on the thorax.
Amorpha juglandis larvae feed upon Walnut and butternut (Juglans),
hickory (Carya), alder (Alnus), beech (Fagus),
hazelnut (Corylus), and hop-hornbeam (Ostrya).
Pachysphinx modesta, Eau Claire County, September 10, 2008, Ian Miller
the Modest Sphinx or Poplar Sphinx
Larvae feed on poplars and cottonwood. The anal horn is much reduced in the final instar.
Some larvae have considerable red spotting.
Paonias excaecata adult, July 18, 2008, Ian Miller
Larvae accept willows, birches, and cherries.
I have also found them in the wild on oak in eastern Canada.
Skin has granualated appearance.
Paonias myops adult, July 17-18, 2008, Ian Miller
Paonias myops WO/IM, 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.
Cerisyi larvae greatly resemble modesta larvae, both being pale
green, with granular skin, pale lateral diagonal lines, faint red
spiracular circles, and very pale longitudinal lines running from the
head to a more pronounced anal diagonal line.
Larvae have green heads bounded dorsally with a pale yellow
Smerinthus jamaicensis adult, July 17, 2008, Ian Miller
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.
See Hemaris comparison to help distinguish
the next three species.
Hemaris diffinis, August 28, 2008, Ian Miller
Snowberry Clearwing or Bumblebee Moth
Larval host plants include Snowberry (Symphoricarpos),
honeysuckle (Lonicera), Coralberry, viburnums, Blue Dogbane
(Apocynum) and dwarf bush honeysuckle (Diervilla lonicera).
Horn is black with a yellow base.
Slender Clearwing or Graceful Clearwing
Larval foods are blueberries including low bush blueberry
(Vaccinium vacillans), and laurel (Kalmia), all in the
Hemaris thysbe, recorded as adults, late August, 2008, Ian Miller
WO/IM, the 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.
Larvae feed upon Grape (Vitis), Virginia Creeper
(Parthenocissus quinquefolia) and other vines and ivies
Larvae occur in both a light (green) form and a darker (tan/brown)
form. Note six "segmented" oblique lines.
Eumorpha pandorus: Ian Miller sent me an image of a
larva he encountered while trout fishing.
If you have Grape or Virginia Creeper nearby, then you might encounter
Note the five large white ovals. There are
orangey-brown and green
Eumorpha pandorus, many eggs and first instar larvae found,
late July - early August, 2009, now mature larvae, Ian Miller
In additon to Virginia creeper larvae accept Grape (Vitis),
ampelopsis (Ampelopsis), and cayenne pepper (Capsicum).
Larvae are green until the final instar.
Larvae feed on Azalea and Viburnum and progress very rapidly. The
larva to the left on Viburnum cassinoides is getting ready to
pupate. Color change from green to light burgundy-brown indicates
pupation is imminent.
Darapsa myron adult, July 5, 2008, courtesy of Ian Miller.
Darapsa myron WO/IM, the Virginia Creeper Sphinx or the Grapevine Sphinx
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.
Deidamia inscriptum adult, Ian Miller
Grape (Vitis), ampelopsis (Ampelopsis), and
Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus) all serve as larval hosts.
The alternating yellow and greyish-green rings across the back
distinguish this larva.
Hyles euphorbiae adult, Ian Miller
IM, Leafy Spurge Hawk Moth
Larvae feed on leafy spurge. Larvae are also conspicuously colored, with a
pronounced tail or "horn" near rear end.
Young larvae are variously patterned with green, yellow, and black;
older larvae have distinctive red, black, yellow, and white color
pattern. Mature larvae may approach 10 cm in length; when disturbed,
they regurgitate a slimy green liquid.
WO, the Bedstraw Hawk Moth
or Gallium Sphinx
This species is not reported in Chippewa, but it has been recorded in
eastern Wisconsin counties. I suspect it is present.
Larvae come in black and in brown forms and often feed on
Hyles lineata first instar larva and egg found on evening primrose, August 16, 2009, Ian Miller.
WO/IM, the White-lined Sphinx
Larvae are highly varied and feed on a great diversity of plants
including willow weed (Epilobium), four o'clock (Mirabilis),
apple (Malus), evening primrose (Oenothera), elm
(Ulmus), grape (Vitis), tomato (Lycopersicon),
purslane (Portulaca), and Fuschia.
All larvae seem, however, to have the red/black swellings split by
Sphecodina abbottii adult, June 4, 2008, Ian Miller
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.