One Eyed Sphinx Moth (Smerinthus cerisyi)
The one eyed sphinx moth is a member of the family of hawk moths found in North America. English entomologist William Kirby first described this species in 1837 and named it after french entomologist Alexandre Louis Lefèbvre de Cérisy.
Description and Identification
The larvae are green with tiny white protrusions. A blue horn can be seen at the rear, and bold white or yellow diagonal lines are observed on both sides of the face. Short diagonal lines run the length of the sides and a thin white line near the ‘spine’.
Once they are ready to pupate for winter, the larvae become more pale or brown. Like most sphinx moths, when the larvae are ready to pupate, they travel down their host plant and burrow underground.
Sexual Dimorphism: Present but not prominent.
Color and Appearance
Forewing: When the wings are opened, they are a combination of pale gray and dark brown. When the wings are closed, the outer edge is outlined in paler brown.
Hindwing: When the wings are opened, a blue eyespot is observed, with a black bull’s eye in the middle and a thick black outer ring. When the wings are closed, pink shading surrounding the eyespot is observable.
Average wingspan: 6.2 – 9 cm
Flight Pattern: Erratic
Season: May to August
Green oval eggs are laid on the leaves of the host plants.
|Other Names||Cerisy’s sphinx moth|
|Distribution||Newfoundland and Maine west across Michigan, southern Canada to British Columbia and Washington; south to southern California, Baja California Norte, Missouri, Tennessee, and West Texas.|
|Habitat||Streamsides and valleys|
|Lifespan of Adults||Not recorded|
|Host Plants||Poplar and willow|
|Adult Diet||Does not feed|
Did You Know
- Smerinthus ophthalmica was once thought to be the same species as the one eyed sphinx moth. Nowadays, it is considered to be a separate species.