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Digital Guide to Moth Identification

890116 – 7807   Sphinx canadensis Boisduval, [1875]
             Canadian Sphinx

Nelson Poirier
Distribution: In Canada from New Brunswick west to Manitoba, thence southward to Wisconsin, Missouri and Tennessee. It appears to stay west of the Appalachians, and is not recorded from Maryland.
and Size:
Flight period is May to September, with 2 broods in the southern portions of its range. The wingspan is 70 - 85 mm.
Larva and
Host Plants:
Larva is a greenish hornworm and, according to Wagner, often mottled with brown. Photos are needed to document the appearance of this species. Foodplants include black ash, white ash, lilac and blueberry.
Field Marks:
  • forewing gray-brown or yellow-gray with black streaks along and between the veins.
  • interrupted white subterminal line.
  • hindwing dark with white bands.
Similar Species:
  • Pinned specimens of related species. (Hint: select View by Region on the related species page.)
Synonymy: Sphinx canadensis Boisduval, [1875]
Sphinx plota Strecker, 1875
  • Barcode of Life (BOLD) - Caution: DNA barcode provides evidence of relatedness, not proof of identification, and some BOLD specimens shown may not be sequenced.
  • Covell Field Guide p.35; Pl. 5(7, male).
  • Hodges, R. W., 1971. Moths of America North of Mexico, Fascicle 21:p. 62; pl. 5.1. order or free PDF
  • Species Page at Bill Oehlke's moth website - Sphinx canadensis
  • Species Page at BugGuide.Net
  • Species Page at Mass Moths
  • Tuttle, J. P., 2007. Hawk Moths of North America: p. 81; pl. 7.7.
  • Wagner, D. L., (2005). Caterpillars of Eastern North America, p. 252.
Sphinx canadensis
Janice Stiefel
Sphinx canadensis
LG – Jim Troubridge
Sphinx canadensis
90mm – Jim Vargo

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