Friday, November 07, 2008

Hawk Moths and Sphinx Moths of Berrien County, Michigan, and Vicinity

The hawk moths and sphinx moths (Family Sphingidae) are relatively large, colorful, and readily identified members of the Order Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths). Adults of some species so very much resemble hummingbirds in flight (see, especially, the Hummigbird Clearwing) that they are often mistaken as such by lay persons. The moths of this group are recognized as important pollinators.

Collectively, Sherman Moore’s (1955) Annotated List of the Moths of Michigan (.pdf) and Butterflies and Moths of North America (BaMoNA) indicate confirmed records of 18 species (representing 3 subfamilies, and 13 genera) in Berrien County. Plus, BaMoNA lists another 13 species (representing an additional 3 genera) from the neighboring counties of Cass (2) and Van Buren (9) in Michigan and La Porte (5) in Indiana, and another 3 species (representing an additional 2 genera) that are likely to occur in the region based on their widespread distribution in Michigan and other Great Lakes States (BaMoNA).

In total, then, 34 species representing 3 subfamilies and 18 genera have been confirmed (or are likely to be found) in Berkeley County and vicinity. These 34 species represent 85 percent of the 40 species found in Michigan, 27.4 percent of the 124 species found in the U.S. and Canada, and 2.8 percent of the 1,200 species known worldwide.

In the following list, counties with confirmed records are listed in parentheses; species documented from Berrien County are boldfaced; and species whose presence is suspected based on their documented occurrence elsewhere in Michigan and surrounding States are in brakets (with indication of States where recorded). Species denoted with an asterisk (*) are from Sherman, those with a hat (^) are from BaMoNA.
Subfamily Macroglossinae:
  • Aellopos tantalus, Tantalus Sphinx*^ (Berren—the only record for MI of this tropical species)
  • Amphion floridensis, Nessus Sphinx^ (La Porte, Van Buren)
  • Darapsa choerilus (=pholus), Azalea Sphinx^ (Berrien, Van Buren)
  • Darapsa myron, Virginia Creeper Sphinx*^ (Berrien, Cass, La Porte)
  • Darapsa versicolor, Hydrangea Sphinx^ (Cass)
  • Deidamia inscriptum, Lettered Sphinx^ (Van Buren)
  • Eumorpha achemon, Achemon Sphinx^ (Van Buren)
  • Eumorpha pandorus, Pandorus Sphinx*^ (Berrien, La Porte, Van Buren)
  • Hemaris diffinis, Snowberry Clearwing^ (La Porte, Van Buren)
  • Hemaris thysbe, Hummingbird Clearwing*^ (Berrien, Van Buren)
  • [Hyles gallii, Bedstraw Sphinx^ (IL, MI, WI)]
  • Hyles lineata, White-lined Sphinx*^ (Berrien, La Porte, Van Buren)
  • [Xylophanes tersa, Tersa Sphinx^ (IL, MI, WI)]

    Subfamily Smerinthinae:
  • Amorpha juglandis, Walnut Sphinx*^ (Berrien, Cass, La Porte, Van Buren)
  • Smitherinsis cerisyi, One-eyed Sphinx^ (Van Buren)
  • Smitherinsis jamaicensis, Twin-spotted Sphinx^ (Van Buren)
  • Pachysphinx modesta, Modest Sphinx*^ (Berrien, Cass, Van Buren)
  • Paonias excaecata, Blinded Sphinx*^ (Berrien, Van Buren)
  • Paonias myops, Small-eyed Sphinx*^ (Berrien, La Porte, Van Buren)

    Subfamily Sphinginae:
  • [Agrius cingulata, Pink-spotted Hawkmoth^ (IL, MI)]
  • Ceratomia amyntor, Elm Sphinx^ (La Porte)
  • Ceratomia catalpae, Catalpa Sphinx^ (La Porte, Van Buren)
  • Ceratomia hageni, Hagen’s Sphinx^ (Laporte)
  • Ceratomia undulosa, Waved Sphinx^ (Berrien, Cass, Van Buren)
  • Dolba hyloeus, Pawpaw Sphinx*^ (Berrien, Cass, La Porte, Van Buren)
  • Lapara bombycoides, Northern Pine Sphinx*^ (Berrien)
  • Manduca quinquemaculata, Five-spotted Hawkmoth*^ (Berrien, La Porte, Van Buren)
  • Manduca sexta, Carolina Sphinx*^ (Berrien, Cass, La Porte, Van Buren)
  • Sphinx canadensis, Canadian Sphinx^ (Cass)
  • Sphinx chersis, Great Ash Sphinx*^ (Berrien, Van Buren)
  • [Sphinx drupiferarum, Wild Cherry Sphinx^ (IL, MI, OH, WI)]
  • Sphinx eremitus, Hermit Sphinx* (Berrien, La Porte, Van Buren)
  • Sphinx kalmiae, Laurel Sphinx*^ (Berrien, La Porte, Van Buren)
  • Sphinx luscitiosa, Clemen’s Sphinx^ (Van Buren)
  • Sphinx poecilia, Poecila Sphinx^ (Van Buren)

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