Paonias myops, the Small-eyed Sphinx

Paonias myops
(J. E. Smith, 1797) Sphinx

Paonias myops, Athol, Worcester County, Massachusetts,
June 10, 2008, courtesy of Dave Small.

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Family: Sphingidae, Latreille, 1802
Subfamily: Sphinginae, Latreille, 1802
Tribe: Smerinthini, Grote & Robinson, 1865
Genus: Paonias Hubner, [1819]
Species: myops (J.E. Smith, 1797)


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Paonias myops, the Small-eyed Sphinx (wingspan 52-69 mm), ranges from south eastern Canada to Florida westward almost to the Pacific Coast. It is fairly common here on Prince Edward Island, with males coming in to lights much more frequently than females.

Paonias myops, Peterborough, Ontario, June 10, 2005, courtesy of Tim Dyson.


Paonias myops flies from June through September in eastern Canada and is especially abundant in New Brunswick.

In New Jersey the Small-eyed Sphinx is double-brooded. In Louisiana there are four broods at roughly 50 day intervals with the first brood eclosions peaking at the end of March.


Paonias myops moths emerge from pupae formed in small subterranean chambers.


Small-eyed Sphinx females call in the night flying males with an airbourne pheromone emitted from a gland at the posterior of the abdomen.

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 (right) arcs upward toward the head, while the abdomen of the female hangs strait down on a vertical surface.


Pale green eggs are deposited on hostplants foliage and this sphinx will oviposit readily on the insides of brown paper sandwich or grocery bags.

Wild cherry species are the favorites as larval foodplants, but eggs will also be deposited on birches and other forest trees.

To the right a second instar larva rests on pin cherry. The "red heart" marking readily identifies this species. There are varying degrees to the amount of red along the sides of the larvae.

Scan by Bill Oehlke

Paonias myops Ettrick, Trempealeau County, Wisconsin,
courtesy of Don Severson

Paonias myops Ettrick, Trempealeau County, Wisconsin,
courtesy of Don Severson

Return to U. S. A. Table
Return to Main Sphingidae Index
Return to Smerinthini Tribe

Visit Paonias myops, Chaseburg, Vernon County, Wisconsin, June 1, 2011, May 3, 2012, Dan Jackson

Visit Paonias myops, Rock Island Preserve, Linn County, Iowa, June 12, 2011, Tom Jantscher

Visit Paonias myops, Bradford County, Florida, courtesy of Edith Smith.

Visit Paonias myops male, Orleans County, Vermont, July 10, 2009, courtesy of Jane Housewright.

Visit Paonias myops female (reared), May 24, 2011, courtesy of Ian Miller.

Visit Paonias myops, Shimek S.F., Croton Unit East, Lee County, Iowa, June 22, 2013, July 20, 2013; Thomas Jantscher

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