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  • Blinded Sphinx Moth - (Paonias excaecata)

    Blinded Sphinx Moth - (Paonias excaecata)

    The Blind Sphinx Moth can see, though its well-camouflaged caterpillar and pupa make it difficult for observers to see them.

    Staff Writer (8/15/2017): Many moths and butterflies have eyespots, circles of rich color usually centered around a black dot which mimics a pupil. The Blind Sphinx is missing this pupil in spots on its hindwings. This led to the confusing common name. Blind Sphinxes can see just as well as any other moth. They sometimes rest with wings flat with the hindwings peaking out from under the upper edges of the forewing. This gives the wings an unusual shape. The bottom edges of the wings are wavy in a randomly scalloped fashion.

    Their soft green caterpillars eat the leaves of various deciduous trees like birch, poplar, black cherry, willow and basswood. They are safe to handle despite the soft horn at the rear. The young caterpillars blend in well among leaf foliage and may be overlooked. This species pupates in the fall and creates a brown cocoon among dead leaves and soil, successfully hiding it from predators. It will emerge in the spring as a winged adult. Adults do not eat. They focus all their attention to reproduction. They are nocturnal and attracted to lights at night.

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    Details of the:
    Blinded Sphinx Moth

    Category: Butterfly or Moth
    Common name: Blinded Sphinx Moth
    Scientific Name: Paonias excaecata

      Kingdom: Animalia
       Phylum: Arthropoda
        Class: Insecta
         Order: Lepidoptera
          Family: Sphingidae
           Genus: Paonias
            Species: excaecata

    Size (Adult, Length): 30mm to 50mm (1.18in to 1.97in)

    Identifying Colors: brown, purple, white, tan, pink, blue

    Additional Descriptors: flying, patches, dots, , eyespots, wings, scalloped, wavy

    North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama; Alaska; Arizona; Arkansas; California; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Hawaii; Idaho; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Montana; Nebraska; Nevada; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; West Virginia; Wisconsin; Wyoming; Alberta; British Columbia; Manitoba; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Saskatchewan; Mexico

    * Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.

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