Updated as per James P. Tuttle's The Hawk Moths of North America, July 3, 2009
Bonner County, Northern Idaho
Smerinthus ophthalmica?? male, Bonner County, Idaho,
July 1, 2009, courtesy of Sherry Hartwig.
This page is inspired by and dedicated to Sherry Hartwig
who sent me sightings of Smerinthus ophthalmica
July 1, 2009.
Sherry write, "Good evening,
This moth was outside on my house this morning and stayed there for quite awhile. I have never seen a moth such as this. I live in
Northern Idaho and was wondering if you could me identify it.
"Thank you for your time."
Seventeen Sphingidae species are listed on USGS for Idaho. Almost
all of the species are reported or anticipated in Bonner County. It
is hoped that this checklist, with the thumbnails and notes, will help
you quickly identify the moths you have encountered.
A "WO" after the species name indicates that
I have no confirmed reports of this species in Bonner County, but I
(William Oehlke) expect that this moth is present or
might be present.
A USGS indicates the
moth is reported on the USGS website where ten species are reported as of July 3, 2009
Please help me develop this list with improved, documented accuracy by
sending sightings (species, date, location), preferably with an
image, via email to
This species is probably present (unreported) and larvae feed on tomatoes and go by the common name of
This species is reported on the USGS for Bonner County.
I only see them occasionally on P.E.I. despite visiting lights
The upperside of the forewing is dark grey to black with a
paler costa and pale area from the base to the wing's centre.
Prefered habitats include montane woodlands and mixed chaparral-type
USGS, 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.
the Modest Sphinx or Poplar Sphinx,
This large poplar/willow feeder flies in Bonner County.
They are a heavy bodied species.
This one is quite similar to Pachysphinx modesta, with modesta
being smaller and darker.
There may be naturally occuring hybrids in Bonner.
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.
This small species is probably widespread and common. This species ranges across North America.
The hindwings have a small blue eyespot ringed with black on a yellow background.
WO, the Twin-spotted Sphinx
Jamaicensis closely resembles cerisyi, but jamaicensis is much
smaller with larger blue patches on more vibrant and deeper purple in
the lower wings. Look for dark half moon, inwardly lined with white
at the fw apex. possibility
Smerinthus ophthalmica, July 1, 2009, Sherry Hartwig
Larvae feed on poplars, aspen and willows.
Note different shape of double arced forewing pm line compared to the straighter pm line of cerisyi, directly above.
S. ophthalmica has smoother scalloping of the fw outer margin.
Hemaris diffinis USGS, the Snowberry Clearwing or Bumblebee Moth
This species is officially reported from Bonner, and this day flying moth
is widely distributed in Idaho.
Hemaris senta WO Rocky Mountain
This moth (a day flier in mountain meadows) is easily confused
with Hemaris diffinis.
WO, the Pacific Green
Sphinx Moth or Bear Sphinx
The Pacific Green
Sphinx Moth or Bear Sphinx tends to be an early spring flier, on the wing in the early
evening. It comes to lights at night.
the Bedstraw Hawk Moth or Gallium Sphinx
This species is officially reported from Bonner County; however, if
you have Gallium or Epilobium, you probably have
populations of this species.
USGS, 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.
This day flier is officially reported from Bonner County,
It flies from April-June, prefering oak woodland and pine-oak woodland in
foothills. Moths nectar at a variety of flowers in the afternoon.
This day flier is not officially reported from Bonner, but it has
been found to the north, east, south and west in meadows near
Enjoy some of nature's wonderments, giant silk moth cocoons.
These cocoons are for sale winter and fall. Beautiful Saturniidae moths will emerge the following spring and summer.
Read Actias luna rearing article.
Additional online help available.
Eggs of many North American species are offered during the spring and summer. Occasionally
summer Actias luna and summer Antheraea polyphemus cocoons are available. Shipping to US destinations is done
from with in the US.
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