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One-Eyed Sphinx Moth (Smerinthus cerisyi)


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

 Updated: 7/31/2018; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.InsectIdentification.org




The One-Eyed Sphinx goes by many names, but the singular blue eyespot hidden on the hingwings remains constant.



Sphinx Moths are a family of enormous moth that almost always attract attention when they come around at night. This particular species is part of a group that has eyespots on the hindwings. Compared to other similar-looking Sphinx Moths, the One-eyed Sphinx has a solitary blue spot with a black pupil in each eyespot. In contrast, the Twin-spotted Sphinx has two blue spots, and the Blinded Sphinx lacks the black pupil.

This dark brown and gray moth may have violet tones. Pale veins run down the wings and are especially visible as they cross the dark brown band in that crosses the middle of the wings and their bottom edges. White lines separate the dark center of the furry thorax from its lighter sides. Multicolored hindwings, when visible, have an inner white edge next to a large black spot that circles a blue eyespot. Bright pink color above the eyespot blends into a pale yellow under the eyespot.

Females lay green oval eggs on leaves of host trees. Larvae are plump and green with tiny white bumps all over them. They can become more pale or brown as they prepare to pupate for winter. A blue horn extends from the top of the body by the rear. A bold white, or yellow, diagonal line on both sides of the face is repeated by the rear at the blue horn. Short diagonal lines run the length of the sides as does a thin white line near the 'spine'. Caterpillars of the One-eyed Sphinx feed on pear, plum, poplar, basswood, birch, and willow trees. Adults do not eat. Look for them near lights after sunset. They are active from mid-spring through most of summer and prefer areas where host trees grow.




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Lepidoptera
        Family: Sphingidae
          Genus: Smerinthus
            Species: cerisyi
Identifying Information
Scientific Name: Smerinthus cerisyi
Other Name(s): Eyed Sphinx, Cerisy's Sphinx, Willow Sphinx, Cerisy's Eyed Hawk Moth
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 62mm to 90mm (2.42in to 3.51in)
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown, gray, black, blue
Descriptors: pink wing, blue eyespot, flying, large, big, dark body
Territorial Map
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
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State of Delware graphic
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State of New Mexico graphic
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State of North Carolina graphic
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State of South Carolina graphic
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State of Tennessee graphic
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State of Utah graphic
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Canadian territory of Newfoundland and Labrador graphic
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Canadian territory of Saskatchewan graphic
Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic


Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
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
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 above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections 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.




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.
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Forewing: The upper, forward wing pair used for flying.
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Hindwing: The lower, rearward wing pair used for flying.
NOTE: Butterflies and Moths are part of the Lepidopteran order as they share many similarities.