Created/dedicated as per personal communication with Jennie Sisler, June 20, 2011
Updated as per James P. Tuttle's The Hawk Moths of North America, June 20, 2011
Worcester County, Maryland
Eumorpha pandorus, Ocean City, Worcester County, Maryland,
This page is inspired by and dedicated to Jennie Sisler, who sent me the
Eumorpha pandorus images, top of this page and below.
June 20, 2011, courtesy of Jennie Sisler.
Jennie wrote, "Good evening! I just wanted to send along two photos of an Oleander Hawk moth I saw at my condo in Ocean City, Maryland last week.
He stayed around for a couple of days and then departed. I was so afraid he was dead (I called him "Army Strong" because of the camouflage) because he wasn't
moving an inch, but then we woke up one morning and he was gone. Thank goodness! I don't know what possesed me to google "camouflage moth" but I did and found
your site. What I'm wondering is how on earth a moth native to the Middle East, Asia and Africa ended up on the eastern shore. The wonders of nature will never
cease I guess."
I replied, "I have not looked at the enlarged version of your moths yet, but it is not an Oleander Hawk Moth; it is one of the Eumorpha species,
probably Eumorpha pandorus.
I will have a closer look tomorrow. I would like permission to post images, credited to you, to a webpage?
You are correct, the Oleander hawk moth does not fly in US.
Jennie gave permission to post the image and made the following request: "Could you tell me the difference between the two? I've
looked at both, and I swear I can't really tell the difference. Well, except for the fact that the oleander hawk moth isn't native to North America."
The following day I received another picture of an Eumorpha pandorus from northern Kentucky. This one was also incorrectly identified as
an Oleander Hawk Moth. Almost every year I get one or two images of pandorus sent to me by someone in US wondering what the Oleander Hawk Moth
is doing in their back yard. I am posting an image of an Oleander Hawk Moth which is known from Europe, Asia, northern Africa and Hawaii, so you can see the
Oleander Hawk Moth, (Deipephila nerii), Maui, Hawaii, February 2008, courtesy of
Eumorpha pandorus, Ocean City, Worcester County, Maryland,
These words will probably mean nothing to one who does not study Sphingidae, but here are some of the forewing features of Eumorpha pandorus (1-5a) not found on
Daphnis nerii or vice-versa (5b):
June 20, 2011, courtesy of Jennie Sisler.
1) dark apical trapezoid emanating from the costa;
2) very distinct small dark cell mark;
3) thin pinkish-orange arc along vein from just below cell mark to outer margin;
4) series of median area lines emanating from the costa;
5a) upper portion of the basal area plain, without the 5b) large dark green patch emanating from the costa in nerii.
Lower portions of the abdomens are also very different in the two species. Note dark center stripe on thorax of pandorus.
It is hoped that this checklist, with the thumbnails and notes, will help you
quickly identify the moths you are likely to encounter.
A Worcester County thumbnail checklist for Sphingidae larvae is available at
Worcester County thumbnail checklist for Sphingidae larvae.
Please help me develop this list with improved, documented accuracy
by sending sightings (species, date, location), preferably with an
electronic image, via email to
Please also send your sightings to BAMONA, an excellent online resource.
Agrius cingulata, Ocean City, September 19, 2011, Eric and Jerome Klun
This moth is a very strong flier. There are very few records for Maryland.
It is generally a more southerly species, but it is known to breed in southern Maryland.
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 yellowish brown with no white
markings, but there are indistinct black lines and dashes. The cell
spot is gray with a black outline.
The larvae feed in large groups and are much more
spectacular than the moths. Catalpa is the larval host.
The upperside of the forewing is pale brownish gray with wavy black
and white lines and a black-outlined white cell spot.
It is named for the wavy lines on the forewings.
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
The upperside is of the forewing is gray with two (sometimes one or
three) black dashes near the wing center; other markings are usually
diffuse. The upperside of the hindwing is a uniform brown-gray.
The upperside of the forewing is gray-brown with wavy lines, black
dashes, and one or two small white spots near the center of the costa.
Larval hosts are various species of beebalm (Monarda), mints (Mentha), bugleweed (Lycopis),
and sage (Salvia).
The upperside of forewing is gray to grayish brown with a black line
running from the middle of the costa to the middle of the outer
margin; the line may be broken near the margin. There is a splash of
brown around the cell spot.
the Five-spotted Hawkmoth
The moth abdomen usually has five but sometimes six pairs of yellow
bands. The upperside of the forewing is blurry brown and gray.
I suspect if you grow tomatoes, you are likely to encounter it.
The abdomen of the adult moth has three pairs of yellow spots. The
upperside of the forewing is yellowish brown to deep chocolate brown
with a dusting of white scales and zigzagged black and white lines.
The abdomen usually has six pairs of yellow bands, broken across the
back. The sixth set of markings is quite small.
The upperside of the forewing has indistinct black, brown, and white
If you grow tomatoes, you have probably encountered it, though.
The upperside of the forewing is gray with indistinct black and
white markings. There is a series of black dashes
from the base to the tip, and a small white cell spot.
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.
The outer margins of the forewings are slightly concave in the
male, but not in the female. The costal half of the forewings are
grey, but the posterior portion is a distinctive warm yellowish-brown.
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.
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. Patterns range from
faint to pronounced.
See the file for the female; she is different.
Both sexes rest with wings parallel to the resting surface, with the upper lobes of the hindwings protruding above the forewings. The lower abdomen of the male arcs upward toward the head, while the abdomen of the female hangs strait down on a vertical surface.
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.
Named for the small eye-spot in the hindwing, this moth has a wide
distribution. Both sexes rest with wings parallel to the resting
surface, with the upper lobes of the hindwings protruding above the
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.
See Hemaris comparison to help distinguish
the next three species.
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 diffinis, the
Snowberry Clearwing or Bumblebee Moth
Adults mimic bumblebees and are quite variable, both geographically
and seasonally. The wings are basically clear, with dark brown to
brownish-orange veins, bases and edges. The thorax is golden-brown to
Hemaris gracilis, the
Slender Clearwing or Graceful Clearwing
Hemaris gracilis is distinguished from similar species by a pair of
red-brown bands on the undersides of the thorax, which varies from
green to yellow-green dorsally and sometimes brown with white
underneath. They have a red abdomen. unlikely
This moth is fairly often reported
along the coast from southern New Jersey
to central Maine, as well as from further south.
Note the differences between this moth and the Pandorus Sphinx.
Eumorpha fasciatus, the Banded Sphinx
The upperside of the moth is dark pinkish brown. Each forewing has a
lighter brown band along the costa, and sharp pinkish white bands and
streaks. Larvae feed upon primrose-willow, Ludwigia (water primrose)
and other plants in the evening primrose family.
Eumorpha pandorus, Ocean City, June 20, 2011, Jennie Sisler.
If you have Grape or Virginia Creeper nearby, then you probably have
This day flier is widely distributed. If you have Virginia Creeper,
you probably 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.
They are common
in Hunterdon County.
Darapsa myron, the Virginia Creeper Sphinx or the Grapevine Sphinx
The forewing upperside is dark brown to pale yellowish gray, with an
On the costal margin there is a dark rectangular patch, although this
may be reduced or absent. The upperside of the hindwing is pale
If you have hydrangea growing near a stream, then you may have the
The forewing upperside is often greenish brown
with curved dark lines and pinkish-white patches.
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 forewing upperside is dark olive brown with paler brown along the
costa and outer margin, a narrow tan band running from the wing tip
to the base, and white streaks along the veins.
This moth is very much under reported across the United States. It
is a rapid day flier so is probably not in too many collections.
Grape and Virginia Creeper are popular larval hosts.
The upperside of the forewing is pale brown with lavender-gray at the
base and has dark brown lengthwise lines throughout. The upperside of
the hindwing is dark brown with a band of whitish, wedge-shaped marks.
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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