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Blinded Sphinx Moth (Paonias excaecata)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Blinded Sphinx Moth.


 Updated: 2/8/2018; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.InsectIdentification.org



  Blinded Sphinx Moth  
Picture of Blinded-Sphinx-Moth
Picture of Blinded-Sphinx-Moth Picture of Blinded-Sphinx-Moth


The Blinded Sphinx Moth has vision, but its well-camouflaged caterpillar and pupa make it difficult for observers to see them.





Many moths and butterflies have eyespots, which are circles of rich color usually centered around a black dot which mimics a pupil. The Blinded Sphinx has a large blue eyespot on the hindwing that is only visible when the wings are spread open. This eyespot is missing its pupil, and if a human eye lacked a pupil, vision would be unlikely. This unusual distinction led to its confusing common name. Blinded Sphinxes have eyes on their head and can see just as well as any other moth. They are medium brown with darker patches in the center of their forewings. A purple overlay may cover the darker patch. Bottom edges of the forewings are curvy with a thin white and brown border. The smaller hindwings have an unusual bulge at the outer tips which creates a strange silhouette if the larger wings are not covering them. In addition to the aforementioned blue eyespots, the hindwings also have bright pink coloring near the body. The bottom edges of the wings are also scalloped.

Blinded Sphinx Moth caterpillars are soft and green. They eat the leaves of various deciduous trees like birch, poplar, black cherry, willow and basswood. They are safe to handle despite the soft horn, or spike, at the rear. The young caterpillars blend in well among green foliage and are hopefully overlooked by hungry birds and parasitic wasps. This species pupates in the fall and creates a brown cocoon among dead leaves, successfully camouflaging 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.
Basic Information
Common Name: Blinded Sphinx Moth
Scientific Name: Paonias excaecata
Category: Butterfly or Moth


General Identification
Size (Adult; Length): 30mm to 50mm (1.17in to 1.95in)
Colorwheel Graphic
Identifying Colors: brown, purple, white, tan, pink, blue
Additional Descriptors: flying, patches, dots, , eyespots, wings, scalloped, wavy




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


Butterfly and Moth Anatomy
Graphic showing basic anatomy of a common North American butterfly and moth insect
1
Antennae: Butterflies and Moths have a pair of antennae on the head used as sensors.
2
Head: The head is home to the insect's eyes, antennae, and proboscis.
3
Thorax: Home to the three pairs of legs as well as vital internal organs.
4
Abdomen: Contains vital internal organs such as the heart(s) and reproduction facilities.
5
Forewing: The upper, forward wing pair used for flying.
6
Hindwing: The lower, rearward wing pair used for flying.
NOTE: Butterflies and Moths are part of the Lepidopteran order as they share many similarities.


Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed below as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections below indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delware
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
Canadian National Flag Graphic
Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Saskatchewan
Mexican National Flag Graphic
Mexico


Territorial Area Map (Visual Reference Guide)
The map below showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Blinded Sphinx Moth may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data can be useful in seeing concentrations of a particular species over the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some species are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America.
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
State of Alabama graphic
State of Arizona graphic
State of Arkansas graphic
State of California graphic
State of Colorado graphic
State of Delware graphic
State of Florida graphic
State of Georgia graphic
State of Idaho graphic
State of Illinois graphic
State of Indiana graphic
State of Iowa graphic
State of Kansas graphic
State of Kentucky graphic
State of Louisiana graphic
State of Maine graphic
State of Maryland graphic
State of Michigan graphic
State of Minnesota graphic
State of Mississippi graphic
State of Missouri graphic
State of Montana graphic
State of Nebraska graphic
State of Nevada graphic
State of New England graphic
State of New Jersey graphic
State of New Mexico graphic
State of New York graphic
State of North Carolina graphic
State of North Dakota graphic
State of Ohio graphic
State of Oklahoma graphic
State of Oregon graphic
State of Pennsylvania graphic
State of South Carolina graphic
State of South Dakota graphic
State of Tennessee graphic
State of Texas graphic
State of Utah graphic
State of Virginia graphic
State of Washington graphic
State of West Virginia graphic
State of Wisconsin graphic
State of Wyoming graphic
Canadian territory of Alberta graphic
Canadian territory of British Columbia graphic
Canadian territory of Manitoba graphic
Canadian territory of New Brunswick graphic
Canadian territory of Newfoundland and Labrador graphic
Canadian territory of Ontario graphic
Canadian territory of Quebec graphic
Canadian territory of Saskatchewan graphic
Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic


Images Gallery for the Blinded Sphinx Moth
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