Created as per personal communication with Joel Szymczyk, June 30, 2004
Updated as per personal communication with Ken Philip
Updated as per personal communication with Danielle (Ellie) Mason via Andrea Mather, August 8, 2005
Updated as per James P. Tuttle's The Hawk Moths of North America, September 4, 2008
Updated as per personal communication with Kyle Campbell, August 4, 2010
Updated as per personal communication with Jim Gilbert, June 24, 2011
Updated as per personal communication with Carl Seutter, September 18, 2011
Updated as per personal communication with Joel Adams, September 24, 2011
Updated as per personal communication with Julie Stotts, August 13, 2012; August 23, 2012
Updated as per personal communication with Dave Helgert, September 27, 2012

The Sphingidae of Alaska

Hyles gallii larva on Epilobium, Delta Junction, Alaska, August 8, 2005,
courtesy of Danielle (Ellie) Mason via Andrea Mather.

Hyles gallii larvae show at least two colour forms, one that is primarily black, and one that is primarily tan:

Hyles gallii fifth instar, Wasilla, Alaska,
August 13, 2012, courtesy of Julie Stotts.

Dave Helgert sends the following image, and it is first time I have seen a gallii larva without the larger white subovals that are usually so prominent dorso-laterally. You can, however, see their faint outline.

Hyles gallii fifth instar, Pt. MacKenzie, Alaska,
September 24, 2012, courtesy of Dave Helgert.

Click on one of the Scientific names to see images and access information. N.B., the files are not linked back to this page. To return to this index, simply use your browser back button.

Special thanks goes to Ken Philip who sent me "a list (all 5 species) of the Sphingidae from Alaska in the Alaska Lepidoptera Survey collection:"

Joel Szymczyk writes, "This morning (June 30, 2004) I found what appears to be Smerinthus cerisyi. Location was: 63 19 42.884N 142 48 31.346W; Near MP 1308.5 Alaska Highway; Tok, Alaska"

Traci Campbell reports Hyles gallii larva, August 16, 2005, in Palmer, Alaska. She writes, "The one I found is a dark brown with lighter tan dots down each side and a red horn on the end."

Jim Gilbert confirms Hemaris thysbe from Fairbanks, June 24, 2011, 1:15pm.

Hemaris thysbe, Fairbanks, Alaska,
1:15 pm, June 24, 2011, courtesy of Jim Gilbert.

Please send sightings, preferably with images, to Bill Oehlke.

Sphinginae subfamily

Sphingini Tribe:

wwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

Smerinthini Tribe:

Smerinthus cerisyi SE 1/8

Macroglossinae subfamily

Dilophonotini Tribe:m

Hemaris diffinis XSE
Hemaris thysbe SE 1/2


Philampelini Tribe:m





Macroglossini Tribe:

Hyles gallii E 3/4
Pro. flavofasciata SE 2/5


Return to Index by Nation

Return to U. S. A. Table

Return to Main Sphingidae Index

Thumbnail Checklist (adult moths):

Smerinthus cerisyi USGS/JS, the Cerisyi's Sphinx

If you have willows and poplars nearby, you've probably got populations of the Cerisyi's Sphinx.

The hindwings are quite striking.

Smerinthus cerisyi, Tok, June 30, 2004, Joel Szymczyk

Hemaris diffinis WO, the Snowberry Clearwing or Bumblebee Moth
The wings are basically clear, with dark brown to brownish-orange veins, bases and edges. The thorax is golden-brown to dark greenish-brown. The abdomen tends to be dark (black) with 1-2 yellow segments just before the end.

Hemaris thysbe WO/JG, the Hummingbird Clearwing

It is not difficult to see why many gardeners would mistake an Hemaris thysbe moth for a small hummingbird as it hovers, sipping nectar from flowers through a long feeding tube.

Hemaris thysbe, Southcentral Alaska: Index Lake, Fairbanks vicinity, Ken Philip.
Hemaris thysbe, Fairbanks, 1:15pm, June 24, 2011, Jim Gilbert

Hyles gallii WO, the Bedstraw Hawk Moth or Gallium Sphinx

The thick, cream-coloured, slightly irregular, diagonal line on the forewing as well as the absence of much thinner "white lines/streaks" distinguish this species from Hyles lineata.

Proserpinus flavofasciata WO, the Yellow-banded Day Sphinx: Fw upperside is medium to dark brown with a faint to distinct white median band. Hw upperside is dark brown with a wide orange median band which may not reach the inner margin. The moth mimics a bumblebee.

Thumbnail Checklist (larvae):

For care of "found larvae/caterpillars" visit Manduca sexta larva, central Texas, August 21, 2008, Trina Woodall.

Smerinthus cerisyi WO, Cerisy's Sphinx; Cerisyi larvae greatly resemble modesta larvae, both being pale green, with granular skin, pale lateral diagonal lines, faint red spiracular circles, and very pale longitudinal lines running from the head to a more pronounced anal diagonal line. Larvae have green heads bounded dorsally with a pale yellow inverted "V".

Hemaris diffinis USGS, the Snowberry Clearwing or Bumblebee Moth: Larval host plants include Snowberry (Symphoricarpos), honeysuckle (Lonicera), Coralberry, viburnums, Blue Dogbane (Apocynum) and dwarf bush honeysuckle (Diervilla lonicera). Horn is black with a yellow base.

Hemaris thysbe USGS, the Hummingbird Clearwing

There is also an orangey-pink prepupal form. The lateral line runs from S1 to the blue horn.

Hemaris thysbe larvae feed on viburnum and related plants.

Hyles gallii WO/EMvAM/CS/DH, the Bedstraw Hawk Moth or Gallium Sphinx

Larvae come in black and in brown forms and often feed on Epilobium (fireweed).

Hyles gallii larva, Fairbanks, Alaska, August 4, 2010, courtesy of Kyle Campbell.
Hyles gallii larva on Epilobium, Delta Junction, Alaska, August 8, 2005, courtesy of Danielle (Ellie) Mason via Andrea Mather.
Hyles gallii larva, near Wasilla, Alaska; 61d37m north, 149d23m49s west; feeding on fireweed;
September 18, 2011; Carl Seutter
Hyles gallii larva, Anchorage, Alaska; 61 8'10.09"N Latitude and 14946'27.07"W; September 24, 2011; Joel Adams
Hyles gallii fifth instar, Pt. MacKenzie, Alaska, September 24, 2012, courtesy of Dave Helgert.

Hyles gallii WO/KC/JS, the Bedstraw Hawk Moth or Gallium Sphinx

This brown form is from Fairbanks, Alaska, August 4, 2010, courtesy of Kyle Campbell. The larva pupated within one week of being photographed.

Hyles gallii fifth instar, Wasilla, Alaska, August 13, 2012, courtesy of Julie Stotts.

Proserpinus flavofasciata WO, Yellow-banded Day Sphinx,

Larvae feed on willow weed (Epilobium) and possibly thimbleberry (Rubus parviflorus).

Enjoy some of nature's wonderments, giant silk moth cocoons. These cocoons are for sale winter and fall. Beautiful Saturniidae moths will emerge the following spring and summer. Read Actias luna rearing article. Additional online help available.

Use your browser "Back" button to return to the previous page.

This page is brought to you by Bill Oehlke and the WLSS. Pages are on space rented from Bizland. If you would like to become a "Patron of the Sphingidae Site", contact Bill.

Please send sightings/images to Bill. I will do my best to respond to requests for identification help.


Show appreciation for this site by clicking on flashing butterfly to the left.
The link will take you to a page with links to many insect sites.