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Digital Guide to Moth Identification

890102.00 – 7786   Ceratomia amyntor (Geyer, [1835])
             Elm Sphinx

Jim Farrell
Distribution: Caution: A single range map dot for a Canadian province may represent records without specific location data.
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: Some specimens shown may not be sequenced. DNA barcode provides evidence of relatedness not proof of identification.
  • 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.
Data compiled and contributed by Nolie Schneider from references cited.

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

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