Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

Wild cherry sphinx
Sphinx drupiferarum J.E. Smith, 1797


Family: Sphingidae
Subfamily: Sphinginae
Identification: Upperside of forewing is dark gray with a white band along the costa and one along the outer margin. Hindwing is dark gray with 2 whitish bands.
Wing Span: 3 1/4 - 4 5/16 inches (8.2 - 11 cm).
Life History: Caterpillars hide during the day and feed at night. Fully-grown caterpillars pupate and overwinter in underground burrows.
Flight: . One brood from May-July.
Caterpillar Hosts: Wild cherry and plum (Prunus species) lilac (Syringa vulgaris), hackberry (Celtis occidentalis), and apple (Malus sylvestris).
Adult Food: Nectar from deep-throated flowers including Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica).
Habitat: A wide variety of wooded habitats and suburbs.
Range: Uncommon in its range. Nova Scotia south to Georgia; west through most of the United States and southern Canada to British Columbia and central California.
Conservation: Not usually required.
NCGR: G5 - Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Management Needs: None reported.
Comments: NULL

Pollinator Week was June 20-26, 2022!

Butterflies and moths are accidental pollinators of many flowering plants. While most species do not have special structures to carry pollen, they do brush against pollen and transfer it to other flowers.

Did you know? The Eastern Tailed-Blue (Cupido comyntas) flies close to the ground and uses its short proboscis to probe flowers of wild strawberry, white sweet clover, and other low-lying plants.