BB Pink-spotted hawkmoth,
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
This moth is not officially recorded in Van Buren County,
but I suspect it is present.
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 and the upperside of the hindwing
is yellowish brown with obscure lines.
Catalpa is the larval host.
Hagen's Sphinx or Osage Orange Sphinx
The upperside of the forewing is gray with a green tint and has dark
indistinct wavy lines, and pale gray patches at the wing tip and
along the costa.
generally a more southerly species
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 forewing is dark brown with a dusting of white
scales. Some moths have patches of reddish or yellowish brown on the
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
might have this species. It flies on P.E.I.
This large bodied moth flies in tobacco fields and vegetable gardens
(potatoes, tomatoes) and wherever host plants are found.
The upperside of the hindwing is banded with black and white and has
two black zigzag median lines that are very close together with
hardly any white showing between them
Larvae get very large and can strip a tomato plant.
Sphinx canadensis, the Canadian Sphinx, is not common, and is not often reported anywhere,
but it might possibly be present in Van Buren County.
Larval hosts are white ash (Fraxinus americana) and blueberry
BB/USGS, 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. We have them on P.E.I.,
but I do not see them nearly as frequently as I see the other Sphingidae.
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.
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 Canadian Sphinx or
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.
BB/ USGS, the Poecila Sphinx
If you have blueberries in the woods, then you probably have the
Poecila Sphinx. They are pretty common here on Prince Edward Island,
but don't fly too far south of Massachusetts, being replaced by
Sphinx gordius in Connecticut.
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 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.
Flight would be June-July.
the Small-eyed Sphinx
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.
the Modest Sphinx or Poplar Sphinx,
This moth has a large, heavy body, and
females can be remarkably plump.
USGS, 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. I suspect it is
This moth is widely distributed and fairly common, and it is recorded
Along the East Coast, it flies from P.E.I. to Florida.
See Hemaris comparison
to help distinguish the next three species.
USGS, 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.
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
BB/USGS, the Hummingbird Clearwing
This interesting day flier is confirmed for Van Buren.
They are widely distributed in the east from P.E.I. to Florida.
This moth is reported for Van Buren County. It is fairly often
reported along the east coast from southern New Jersey
to central Maine.
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.
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.
They are common in New Jersey and common
here on Prince Edward Island.
You will often see this species listed as Darapsa pholus,
especially in older literature.
WO, the Virginia Creeper Sphinx or the
This moth is not recorded on the U.S.G.S. site for Van Buren County,
but it should be present.
It is widely reported as far north as southern Maine. If you have the
foodplants indicated in the common names, you probably have this
If you have hydrangea growing near a stream, then you may have the
probably is uncommon.
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
This species is not reported in Van Buren County, but it may be present.
Some years I see them on P.E.I., some years, I do not.
BB/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.
This moth is very much under reported on USGS. It is a
rapid day flier so is probably not in too many collections.
Grape is a popular larval host.
This moth is much more common to the south and east. It is a strong
migrant, however, and may stray to Van Buren County.