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Blinded Sphinx Moth (Paonias excaecatus)

Blinded Sphinx Moth
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Blinded sphinx moth of the Sphingidae family has a wide range inhabiting parts of the United States and Canada. The big blue eyespot on their hindwings has no pupil, thus making them being called ‘blind’.

Scientific Classification


  • Family: Sphingidae
  • Genus: Paonias
  • Scientific Name: Paonias excaecatus

Description and Identification

Caterpillar

Blinded Sphinx Moth Caterpillar
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They have a soft, green body serving as a perfect camouflage against the surrounding foliage. Though the blinded sphinx moth has a spike or soft horn at the rear end of its body, handling them is not too difficult.

Pupa

Blinded Sphinx Moth Pupa
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The pupation phase occurs in fall. The larvae make a brown cocoon amongst the decayed leaves, hiding from their enemies.

Adult Moth

Sexual Dimorphism: Present but not prominent

The females’ wings have a lighter coloration than that of their male counterparts.

Color and Appearance

Forewings: When opened, it is pale gray or reddish-brown on the upper side and pink near the base. Dark patches appear at the center, while a white and brown curved border occurs near their forewing’s edges. When closed, the pink pattern is not visible; else, the overall color more or less remains the same.

Paonias excaecatus
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Hindwings: When opened, the hindwing’s upperside is pale or dark brown, also marked with a pink patch near the base. The most striking feature that even accounts for its name is the blue eyespot on each side sans the pupil. When closed, the brown coloration remains the same, though the blue eyespot and the prominent pink patch are hidden.

Average Wingspan: 6 – 8.5 cm

Flight Pattern: Consistent

Season: Florida -March – October;Louisiana -March – September; May – September

Egg

Blinded Sphinx Moth Eggs
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The small-sized eggs have a greenish-yellow coloration that takes about eight days to hatch into a larva. Quick Facts

Quick Facts

Others NameBlind-eyed Sphinx Moth
DistributionUnited States: Parts of Florida, eastern California, and central Texas
Canada: Novas Scotia, Prince Edward Island,  New Brunswick, British Colombia
HabitatWoody areas, particularly deciduous woods, shrublands, and also suburbs
PredatorsWasps, and birds
Lifespan of AdultsApproximately a month
Host PlantsWillow, cherry, birch, rose, ninebark
Adult DietDo not feed

Did You Know

  • English botanist, James Edward Smith, described the blinded sphinx moth in 1797.
Blinded Sphinx Moth Image
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Blind Eyed Sphinx Moth
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Blinded Sphinx Moth Picture
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