Subject: Hawk-eyed moth CA look a like?
Location: Near the coast in Southern California (Malibu maybe??)
July 2, 2016 5:00 pm
Let me first say that I’ve followed this website for years and it’s always gotten me what I needed 🙂 I am a California native but am living overseas currently, and a friend sent me this photo of this beautiful moth!! Apparently it lost a fight with a yellow jacket so picked up the body, not entirely sure where in southern California they were. They’re OK with calling it “the moth” but I want to know more! I did a quick search and it seems to have the same sort of eyespots as the Hawk Eyed Moth but the abdomen is different and I’m not sure if they’re found in Southern California. They may have been near the coast, as well? Let me know what you can find… Thanks! 🙂
Thanks so much for the compliment. We believe this is a One Eyed Sphinx, Smerinthus cerisyi, which according to The Sphingidae of the Americas site is found in “the southern regions of all Canadian provinces (all of B. C. and Alberta) and in northern border states south into northern Indiana, Pennsylvania, Ohio. The One-eyed Sphinx is also found along the U.S. west coast to southern California, eastward to the Rockies and into western New Mexico north to western North Dakota. Specimens have also been taken in Illinois and as far south as Missouri in central U.S.” We would not want to rule out that it might be the closely related Smerinthus ophthalmica, and according to the Sphingidae of the Americas: “Smerinthus ophthalmica, (forewing length: 34-47mm) closely resembles Smerinthus cerisyi, and until recently (2010) had been synonymized with cerisyi.”
Wow, thanks so much for the fast reply! I’ve sent it to my mates now… Thanks again for your expertise 🙂 also, does your site accept donations? I would love to help how I can if you need it
You are most welcome. There is a donation link above our name on the home page.