|scientific name Smerinthus jamaicensis |
common name Twin-spotted Sphinx
Adults have been collected in Alberta from early May through mid-July.
Open woodland, woodland edges and clearings, shrub stands, etc.
A medium-sized (5.0-7.0 cm wingspan) sphinx moth with pale grey forewings with darker grey and black markings. Hindwings are pink hindwings with a wide white border and a large black spot in the anal angle, which contains two parallel blue spots or bars. It can be confused only with the One-eyed Sphinx, which is larger and has a more complex dark pattern on the forewings. The combination of the two blue bars in the hindwing spot (a circle in the One-eyed sphinx) and the sharp border between the pink and the pale ground of the hindwing (shading together in One-eyed sphinx) will identify the Twin-spot Sphinx. Male Twin-spot sphinx also have much longer pectinations of the antennae than do males of One-eyed sphinx. D. Macaulay image
The Twin-spot Sphinx rivals the One-eyed Sphinx in its beauty. Although not quite as common, it is found in the same habitats, and the two species are often collected together. Like the One-eyed, the Twin-spot comes to light. It is never (?) found nectaring at flowers, even at dusk, as are some other species of sphinx. The larvae are solitary defoliators and there appears to be a single brood each year.
A common and widespread species; no concerns.
No Alberta data; elsewhere reported larval hosts include willows (Salix), ash (Fraxinus), birch (Betula), plum and choke cherry (Prunus), pears (Pyrus), elm (Ulmus) and Poplar (Populus). Willows appears to be the preferred host.
Newfoundland west to Yukon and central British Columbia, south to Florida, Missisissippi, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. It occurs in wooded areas throughout Alberta.
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