WO Pink-spotted hawkmoth,
unlikely, very rare stray
This species is a strong migrant and adults nectar from
deep-throated flowers including moonflower (Calonyction aculeatum),
morning glory (Convolvulus), honey suckle (Lonicera)
and petunia (Petunia species).
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.
WO, the Pawpaw Sphinx
The upperside of the forewing is dark brown with a dusting of
white scales. Some moths have patches of reddish or yellowish
brown on the wings.
Larve are not limited to pawpaw.
The upperside of the forewing is gray with heavy black bands.
The upperside of the hindwing is brownish gray with no markings.
If you have pines, you
probably have this species. It also flies on P.E.I.
Generally this species is not widely reported.
Larval hosts are various species of beebalm (Monarda), mints (Mentha), bugleweed (Lycopis),
and sage (Salvia).
This large bodied moth flies in tobacco fields and vegetable gardens
(potatoes, tomatoes) and wherever host plants are found.
Sphinx canadensis, the Canadian Sphinx, is not common, and is not
often reported anywhere,
and may be present in Brown County.
Larval hosts are white ash (Fraxinus americana) and blueberry
WO, 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. Larvae are beautiful and feed on cherry foliage.
The upperside of the forewing ranges from brown with black borders
through brownish gray with paler borders to pale gray with no
borders. Dashes, submarginal line, and cell spot are usually weak.
The lower forewings are predominantly brownish-yellow with a
fairly wide dark bar along the inner margin. At rest the wings
hug the body, giving the moth a long slender look.
If you have blueberries in the woods, then you probably have the
They are probably widespread throughout Wisconsin,
but are very much under reported.
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 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.
See the file for the female; she is different.
the Modest Sphinx or Poplar Sphinx,
This large poplar/willow feeder is not reported in Portage County,
but it is likely present.
They are a heavy bodied species.
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.
This small species is possibly in Brown County. This species
across North America.
The hindwings have a small blue eyespot ringed with black on a
WO, 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.
Note absence of complete "c-shaped" arc
near the right forewing apex. Lower part of arc does not return to outer margin.
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. Note pale, complete "c-shaped" arc
near the right forewing apex.
See Hemaris comparison to help distinguish
the next three species.
WO, the Snowberry Clearwing or Bumblebee Moth,
The moth flies along forest edges and in meadows, gardens and
brushy fields. Day-flying adults nectar at lantana, dwarf bush honeysuckle,
snowberry, orange hawkweed, thistles, lilac, Canada violet, etc.
WO, The Slender Clearwing or Graceful
Note the smooth inner edge of the burgundy forewing outer margin and the reddish upper surface of the legs.
USGS, 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.
Adults nectar from flowers of Japanese honeysuckle
(Lonicera japonica), petunia (Petunia hybrida), mock orange
(Philadelphus coronarius), and phlox (Phlox).
Note the differences between this moth and the 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. more southerly
This day flier is widely distributed. If you have Virginia Creeper,
you might have the Nessus Sphinx.
Two bright, distinct, narrow
yellow bands are often visible on the abdomen.
The lower wings of this hawkmoth are a solid brownish-orange, matching the body colour.
You will often see this species listed as Darapsa pholus,
especially in older literature.
WO, the Virginia Creeper Sphinx or the
The forewing upperside is dark brown to pale yellowish gray, with an olive green tint. The upperside of the hindwing is pale orange.
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.
The upperside of the hindwing is orange-brown with a dark brown outer margin and median line.
WO, the Bedstraw Hawk Moth
or Gallium Sphinx
The forewing is dark brown with a broad, slightly irregular, cream-coloured transverse line. The outer margin is grey. There is a bright pink band on the hindwing.
USGS, 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.
Adults are said to mimic bumblebees and make a buzzing sound when feeding. The wing margins are scalloped.
The upperside of the forewing is dark brown with light brown bands and markings. The upperside of the hindwing is
yellow with a wide black outer margin.