Home / Hawk Moths (Sphingidae) / One-eyed Sphinx Moth (Smerinthus cerisyi)

One-eyed Sphinx Moth (Smerinthus cerisyi)

The one eyed sphinx moth, a native of North America is a member of the family of hawk moths. English entomologist William Kirby first described this species in 1837 in honor of French entomologist Alexandre Louis Lefèbvre de Cérisy.

One Eyed Sphinx Moth


Scientific Classification

  • Family: Sphingidae
  • Genus: Smerinthus
  • Scientific Name: Smerinthus cerisyi

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.

One Eyed Sphinx Moth Pupa


Adult Moth

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 a pale brown shade.

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

Smerinthus cerisyi



Green oval eggs are laid on the leaves of the host plants.

Quick Facts

Other NamesCerisy’s sphinx moth
DistributionNewfoundland and Maine west across Michigan, southern Canada to British Columbia and Washington; south to southern California, Baja California Norte, Missouri, Tennessee, and West Texas.
HabitatStreamsides and valleys
Lifespan of AdultsNot recorded
Host PlantsPoplar and willow
Adult DietDoes 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.
One Eyed Sphinx Moth Image


One Eyed Sphinx Moth Picture


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