Updated as per James P. Tuttle's The Hawk Moths of North America, July 2008

Natrona County, Wyoming

Hyles lineata, Casper, Natrona County, Wyoming,
August 12, 2007, courtesy of Scott Herden.

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. I do not have confirmed reports of all of these species in Natrona County, but I (WO) expect they are present.

This page is inspired by and dedicated to Scott Herden who sent me the beautiful image of Hyles lineata, top of page.

Scotty writes, "Taken in Casper, Wyoming. On 8/12/2007. They visit my friend's yard every year."

Many thanks also to Dwaine Wagoner who has sent me what I am pretty sure are Hemaris diffinis and Hemaris senta from Casper, Natrona County, Wyoming.

Sphinginae subfamily

Sphingini Tribe:

Ceratomia undulosa WO, the Waved Sphinx

The upperside of the forewing is pale brownish gray with wavy black and white lines and a black-outlined white cell spot. The upperside of the hindwing is gray with diffuse darker bands.

Sphinx drupiferarum WO, the Wild Cherry Sphinx

The costal area in the basal and median areas of the forewing is light grey. This colour also appears in the terminal area. The rest of the wing is dark slatey grey.

Sphinx luscitiosa WO, the Canadian Sphinx or Clemen's Sphinx: The upperside of the forewing is yellowish gray in males and pale gray with a faint yellow tint in females. In both sexes, the dark border on the outer margin widens as it approaches the inner margin. The upperside of the hindwing is deep yellow in males, pale yellow in females; both with a wide black border.

Sphinx vashti WO, the Snowberry Sphinx

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.

Smerinthini Tribe:

Pachysphinx modesta WO, the Modest Sphinx or Poplar Sphinx.

The forewing is grey brown with diffuse lines. The hindwing is bergundy with dark blue to black markings near the anal angle.

Pachysphinx occidentalis WO, the Big Poplar Sphinx

This one is quite similar to Pachysphinx modesta, with modesta being smaller and darker.
Forewing lines are more distinct in P. occidentalis as compared to P. modesta. There may be naturally occuring hybrids in Laramie.

Paonias excaecata WO, the Blinded Sphinx

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 WO, the Small-eyed Sphinx

This small species is widespread and common and is likely present. This species ranges across North America.

The hindwings have a small blue eyespot ringed with black on a yellow background.

Smerinthus cerisyi WO, the Cerisyi's Sphinx

If you have willows and poplars nearby, you've probably got populations of the Cerisyi's Sphinx.

The hindwings are quite striking.

Macroglossinae subfamily

Dilophonotini Tribe

Hemaris diffinis DW/WO, the Snowberry Clearwing or Bumblebee Moth

This moth is widespread and is present at least in the northeastern part of Wyoming. It may fly throughout the state.

I am pretty sure the images sent to me by Dwaine Wagoner (bottom of page) are Hemaris diffinis and Hemaris senta.

Hemaris thysbe WO, 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.

Hemaris senta WO/DW, the Rocky Mountain Clearwing,

There is probably a single brood of this montane species from May-August.

The moth is seen along streamsides and in meadows in mountainous areas.

I am pretty sure the images sent to me by Dwaine Wagoner (bottom of page) are Hemaris diffinis and Hemaris senta.

Macroglossini Tribe

Hyles gallii WO, the Bedstraw Hawk Moth or Gallium Sphinx

This forewing is dark brown with a slightly irregular cream-coloured transverse line. The outer margin is grey. There is a bright pink band on the hindwing.

Hyles lineata SH, the White-lined Sphinx

This species is very widespread. It can be seen flying during the day, into the evening and also at night.
The highly variable larvae are often found in people's gardens.

Hyles lineata, Casper, August 12, 2007, Scott Herden.

Proserpinus flavofasciata WO, the Yellow-banded Day Sphinx.
The upperside of the forewing is medium to dark brown with a faint to distinct white median band. The upperside of the hindwing is dark brown with a wide orange median band which may not reach the inner margin. The moth mimics a bumblebee.

Proserpinus juanita WO/DW, the Juanita Sphinx

The upperside of the forewing is pale gray-green with a deep green-brown median area and a white dash at the wing tip.

Proserpinus juanita larva, Casper, July 23, 2009, courtesy of Dwaine Wagoner.

Proserpinus juanita, Casper, Natrona County, Wyoming,
July 23, 2009, courtesy of Dwaine Wagoner.

Hemaris diffinis, Casper, Natrona County, Wyoming,
August 1, 2008, courtesy of Dwaine Wagoner, tentative id by Bill Oehlke.

Hemaris senta, Casper, Natrona County, Wyoming,
August 1, 2008, courtesy of Dwaine Wagoner, tentative id by Bill Oehlke.

I am confident the upper of the two Hemaris species is H. diffinis, based on black legs and yellow brown thorax and abdomen. Images of both moths were taken on same approximate date from same immediate area. I do not have a good view of the ventral surface of either moth. The legs and under side (abdomen) of H. senta are supposed to be yellowish, while the legs of diffinis are black and there is some black on the underside of the abdomen.

The thorax of senta tends to be greenish (some digital repair (hair replacement) by Bill oehlke).

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