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Digital Guide to Moth Identification

890100 – 7784   Dolba hyloeus (Drury, 1773)
             Pawpaw Sphinx

Carol Wolf
Distribution: From New Brunswick through southern Quebec and Ontario to Wisconsin, south to Florida and eastern Texas.
and Size:
There are several broods along the Gulf Coast, just one further north. Adults fly from May-September in Florida, mid-June to mid-August in Michigan. John Glaser reports them as common throughout Maryland from 15 May to 19 August. Wingspan 50 - 68 mm
Larva and
Host Plants:
The larva is a light green hornworm with 6 pairs of oblique lateral white stripes, bordered with dark gray dorsally. The host plants include alder, pawpaw, deciduous hollies and sweetfern.
Field Marks:
  • forewing dark chocolate brown with bands of jagged black and white lines in the basal and pm. areas
  • hindwing blackish with a white median line, becoming double near the anal angle
  • Similar Species:
    • The Rustic Sphinx Moth, M. rustica, is similar but considerably larger, with a wingspan of 87 - 150 mm., and has yellow abdominal spots, which the Pawpaw Sphinx Moth lacks.
    • Pinned specimens of related species. (Hint: select View by Region on the related species page.)
    Synonymy: Sphinx hyloeus Drury, 1773
    Dolba floridensis Clark, 1919
    Dolba hylaeus of authors, [no date]
    Sphinx prini Smith, 1797
    Dolba schausi Clark, 1917
    • 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. 5(1, 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. 37; pl. 2.5, 7. order or free PDF
    • Species Page at Bill Oehlke's moth website - Dolba hyloeus
    • Species Page at BugGuide.Net
    • Species Page at Mass Moths
    • Tuttle, J. P., 2007. Hawk Moths of North America: p. 60; pl. 10.3.
    • Wagner, D. L., (2005). Caterpillars of Eastern North America, p. 255.
    Dolba hyloeus
    Patrick Coin
    Dolba hyloeus
    Mark Dreiling - DNA
    Dolba hyloeus
    Nolie Schneider
    Dolba hyloeus
    LG – Jim Troubridge
    Dolba hyloeus
    55mm – Jim Vargo
    Dolba hyloeus
    Brody J. Thomassen LG

    Dolba hyloeus
    Patrick Coin

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