Subject: Sphinx moth ID please
Location: Door county, WI
July 3, 2012 6:05 pm
I found this sphinx moth on 6/16/12 in Door county, WI. Is it a Clemens and if so, any insight on them?
Signature: under my picture

Canadian Sphinx

Wow, this sighting has us excited.  You are correct, it is the Clemens or Canadian Sphinx, Sphinx luscitiosa, and according to the Sphingidae of the Americas website, it is rare.  From that site, we have gleaned that males take nectar during the day and only females are attracted to lights at night.  It is also interesting that they are reported to feed on the fluids of rotting fish.  The food plants for the caterpillars are listed as “willow (Salix), poplar (Populus), birch (Betula), apple (Malus), ash (Fraxinus), waxmyrtle (Morella), and northern bayberry.”  We will copy Bill Oehlke on this reply in the event he can add any information and he also may request permission to reproduce your photo on his excellent website.  BugGuide also provides this information:  “Global Rank: G3 – Very rare or local throughout its range, or found locally in a restricted range (21 to 100 occurrences). Threatened throughout its range.”

Location: Wisconsin

4 Responses to Rare Canadian Sphinx sighted in Wisconsin!!!

  1. lynniet69 says:

    Re: The Canadian Sphinx that was spotted in Door Co WI

    Last year a large green pokey worm like thing fell on us from our Ash tree. We put it in a cage used to hatch butterflies and it turned out to be the said moth mentioned today. We live in Madison, WI. I will try and find my photos, I didn’t think it was anything special but I was wrong!

  2. welikemoths says:

    We have been seeing that exact same moth here in Shawano county!

    • bugman says:

      The description indicates that they are rare but very local within their range. Often creatures can be very common in one location and the identical conditions a mile away will be noticeably bereft of the same species. If you appreciate their beauty, consider yourself very lucky. Also, you might want to see if there is a National Moth Week event near you. As moths go, Sphinx Moths can be very long lived. Six weeks is not unusual. They might still be flying in the vicinity in two more weeks.

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