Mating Western Poplar Sphinxes

Big Poplar Sphinx?
Hello …
This pair of Moths were photographed in Santa Fe County, New Mexico, near Edgewood, on 7/18/’08. The wings across the widest span (folded) were approximately four inches. They look to be Big Poplar Sphinx, Pachysphinx modesta, but I was pretty sure the range for the Big Poplar was east of the Mississippi. Am I wrong? Subspecies? I know you are busy, any thought would be appreciated. (wonderful site) Thanks …
Richard In Illinois

Hi Richard,
Pachysphinx modesta, also known as the Modest Sphinx as well as the Poplar Sphinx and Big Poplar Sphinx, is listed on Bill Oehlke’s website as being sighted in Illinois. We are copying him on this response so he can add your data to the comprehensive information he is compiling on species distribution.

Correction: from Bill Oehlke
Richard, If you send images to me as a jpg attachment I wil do the id They are most likely P. occidentalis in New Mexico. I would like to use image with credit to you on a Santa Fe County pictoral thumbnail page that I wil create?? P. modesta is generally more eastern, but they do fly into extreme northeastern NM and into eastern Washington. I have to upadate my page for range info on modesta. Most of the western Pachysphinx are proving to be occidentalis.

Ed. Note: OOps, we misunderstood the photo location in the body of the letter and used the Illinois location in the signature.

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