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Digital Guide to Moth Identification

890102 – 7786   Ceratomia amyntor (Geyer, [1835])
             Elm Sphinx

© Jim Farrell
Distribution: Found in Canada from Nova Scotia west to Saskatchewan. In the US, it occurs from New England west to North Dakota, Nebraska and Eastern Colorado. It is less common in the south, but can be found from Florida to eastern Texas.
and Size:
One brood in the north from May-Oct, two broods in the south. Wingspan 88 - 115 mm.
Larva and
Host Plants:
Larva is brown or green, with spinulose horns on the thorax, in addition to the horn at the end of the abdomen, leading to its alternate common name of Four-horned Sphinx. Much of the body is covered with white granules and a ridge of scalelike plates runs down the dorsal midline. The food plants are elm, basswood, and birch.
Field Marks:
• brown thorax with wide darker brown stripes towards the edges.
• forewing light brown with whitish pm. line, dark streaks along veins, white tint along the costa and whitish reniform spot.
• hindwing brown with a dark brown border and incomplete lines.
Similar Species:
  • C. hageni: pattern overlaid with green, pale gray patches at tip of forewing and mid-costa. Found only in Kansas, Arkansas, Missouri, Mississippi and Texas.
  • C. sonorensis: found in southern Arizona, 3 black dashes on forewing.
  • C. undulosa (Waved Sphinx): reniform spot large, white with black outline.
  • C. catalpae (Catalpa Sphinx): yellowish brown with relatively indistinct lines on forewing. Reniform spot black with gray filling.
  • Pinned specimens of related species. (Hint: select View by Region on the related species page.)
Synonymy: Agrius amyntor Geyer, [1835]
Ceratomia quadricornis Harris, 1839
Ceratomia ulmi Boisduval, [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.33; Pl. 3(9, male).
  • Hall et al., 2021. The Moths of North Carolina - website (identification, habitats and life history)
  • Hodges, R. W., 1971. Moths of America North of Mexico, Fascicle 21:p. 41; pl. 2.6. order or free PDF
  • Species Page at Bill Oehlke's moth website - Ceratomia amyntor
  • Species Page at Block Island Moths
  • Species Page at BugGuide.Net
  • Species Page at E. H. Strickland Museum
  • Species Page at Mass Moths
  • Species Page at Pacific Northwest Moths
  • Species page at Moths of North Dakota.
  • Tuttle, J. P., 2007. Hawk Moths of North America: p. 63; pl. 9.8.
  • Wagner, D. L., (2005). Caterpillars of Eastern North America, p. 250.
Ceratomia amyntor
© Alan Chin-Lee
Ceratomia amyntor
© D. Lynn Scott
Ceratomia amyntor
© Patrick Coin
Ceratomia amyntor
© Janice Stiefel - m.
Ceratomia amyntor
© Nolie Schneider
Ceratomia amyntor
© Carol Wolf
Ceratomia amyntor
100mm – © Jim Vargo
Ceratomia amyntor
© George Smiley LG
on Betula nigra
Ceratomia amyntor
© Canadian National Collection LG

Ceratomia amyntor
© Teá Montagna LG
5th Instar on Ulmus
Ceratomia amyntor
© Teá Montagna LG
4th Instar on Ulmus
Ceratomia amyntor
© Teá Montagna LG
3rd Instar on Ulmus
Ceratomia amyntor
© Teá Montagna LG
2nd Instar on Ulmus

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