Moths in Iowa

Of the several moth species found in Iowa, the biggest belongs to the Saturniidae family, including the green luna moth, the reddish-brown cecropia moth, and the tan-colored polyphemus moth, with two prominent eyespots. You would also find many moths from the Sphingidae family throughout the state between February and November, inhabiting gardens and meadows. The pretty underwing moths noted for their orangish patch are majorly seen here from July to October.

The gypsy moth’s (particularly the male) presence has been detected in Iowa since 2012, mainly infesting oak-hickory forests, causing significant damage to the trees.

Large Moths: Luna Moth, Cecropia Moth, Polyphemus Moth

Common Moths: Luna Moth, Polyphemus Moth, White-lined Sphinx Moth

Here is the list of moths found in Iowa arranged in order of the family they belong.

Saturniidae Moths

  • Luna Moth (Actias luna)
  • Cecropia Moth (Hyalophora cecropia)
  • Polyphemus Moth (Antheraea polyphemus)
  • Promethea Silkmoth (Callosamia promethea)

Hawk Moths

  • Carolina Sphinx Moth (Manduca sexta)
  • Catalpa Sphinx Moth (Ceratomia catalpa)
  • Five-spotted Hawk Moth (Manduca quinquemaculata)
  • Pink-spotted Hawk Moth (Agrius cingulata)
  • Ash Sphinx Moth (Manduca jasminearum)
  • Pawpaw Sphinx Moth (Dolba hyloeus)
  • Elm Sphinx Moth (Ceratomia amyntor)
  • Waved Sphinx Moth (Ceratomia undulosa)
  • Hagen’s Sphinx Moth (Ceratomia hageni)
  • Plebian Sphinx Moth (Paratrea plebeja)
  • Apple Sphinx Moth (Sphinx gordius)
  • Hermit Sphinx Moth (Lintneria eremitus)
  • Great Ash Sphinx Moth (Sphinx chersis)
  • Vashti Sphinx Moth (Sphinx vashti)
  • Canadian Sphinx Moth (Sphinx canadensis)
  • Franck’s Sphinx Moth (Sphinx franckii)
  • Laurel Sphinx Moth (Sphinx kalmiae)
  • Wild Cherry Sphinx Moth (Sphinx drupiferarum)
  • Twin-spotted Sphinx Moth (Smerinthus jamaicensis)
  • One-eyed Sphinx Moth (Smerinthus cerisyi)
  • Blinded Sphinx Moth (Paonias excaecatus)
  • Small-eyed Sphinx Moth (Paonias myops)
  • Walnut Sphinx Moth (Amorpha juglandis)
  • Big Poplar Sphinx Moth (Pachysphinx occidentalis)
  • Ello Sphinx Moth (Erinnyis ello)
  • Obscure Sphinx Moth (Erinnyis obscura)
  • Fig Sphinx Moth (Pachylia ficus)
  • Titan Sphinx Moth (Aellopos titan)
  • Fadus Sphinx Moth (Aellopos fadus)
  • Mournful Sphinx Moth (Enyo lugubris)
  • Hummingbird Clearwing Moth (Hemaris thysbe)
  • Slender Clearwing Moth (Hemaris gracilis)
  • Snowberry Clearwing Moth (Hemaris diffinis)
  • Pandorus Sphinx Moth (Eumorpha pandorus)
  • Achemon Sphinx Moth (Eumorpha achemon)
  • Banded Sphinx Moth (Eumorpha fasciatus)
  • Gaudy Sphinx Moth (Eumorpha labruscae)
  • Abbot’s Shinx Moth (Sphecodina abbottii)
  • Lettered Sphinx Moth (Deidamia inscriptum)
  • Nessus Sphinx Moth (Amphion floridensis)
  • Virginia Creeper Sphinx Moth (Darapsa myron)
  • Azalea Sphinx Moth (Darapsa choerilus)
  • Tersa Sphinx Moth (Xylophanes tersa)
  • Leafy Spurge Sphinx Moth (Hyles euphorbiae)
  • Gallium Sphinx Moth (Hyles gallii)

Erebidae Moths

  • Sweet Underwing Moth (Catocala amatrix)
  • Gypsy Moth (Lymantria dispar)

Burnet Moths

  • Orange-patched Smoky Moth (Pyromorpha dimidiate)
  • Grapeleaf Skeletonizer Moth (Harrisina Americana)

Geometer Moths

  • Wavy-Lined Emerald Moth (Synchlora aerate)