Canyon County, Idaho
Hyles lineata, Nampa, Canyon County, Idaho,
May 3, 2008, courtesy of Amy Weidner and Michell Tomaskovich
This page is dedicated to Amy Weidner and Michell
Tomaskovich. Amy sent me the image above, taken by her Aunt Michell
Michell writes, "The Hyles lineata, the white-lined sphinx
photo was taken May 3, 2008 in my back yard in Nampa (Canyon County),
Idaho, around 5:00 pm. We were amazed! I have never seen one, and I
have lived in Idaho all my life. You have my permission to use the
photo on your website."
Seventeen Sphingidae species are listed on USGS for Idaho. Almost
all of the species are reported or anticipated in Canyon 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 Canyon 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 (five species:
White-lined sphinx (Hyles lineata);
Five-spotted hawkmoth (Manduca quinquemaculata);
One-eyed sphinx (Smerinthus cerisyi);
Vashti sphinx (Sphinx vashti) and Wild cherry sphinx
(Sphinx drupiferarum)) and/or in Moths of Western North America,
#2. Distribution of Sphingidae of Western North America, revised,
an excellent little booklet available through Paul Opler.
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 confirmed in Canyon County, and the larvae feed on
tomatoes and go by the common name of "Tomato Hornworms".
This species is reported on the USGS for Canyon County.
I only see them occasionally on P.E.I. despite visiting lights
frequently. Larvae are large and beautiful.
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 possibly flies in Canyon 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 Canyon.
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 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.
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.
the Snowberry Clearwing or Bumblebee Moth
This day flying moth
is widely distributed in Idaho.
I suspect I will get reports from Canyon County.
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 not officially reported from Ada County; however, if
you have Gallium or Epilobium, you probably have
populations of this species.
Hyles lineata, Nampa, May 3, 2008, 5:00 pm, Amy Weidner and
USGS/AW?MT, 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 not officially reported from Canyon 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 Canyon, 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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