Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFSphingidae Members: 242 NC Records

Paonias excaecata (J.E. Smith, 1797) - Blind-eyed Sphinx


Taxonomy
Superfamily: Bombycoidea Family: SphingidaeSubfamily: SmerinthinaeTribe: SmerinthiniP3 Number: 890144.00 MONA Number: 7824.00
Comments: A Holarctic genus of 4 species of which 3 occur in North America and North Carolina. Two are among our most common species.
Species Status: Barcoding indicates heterogeneity in east Texas populations but eastern U.S. populations appear homogeneous.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984); Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, BAMONATechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1948); Hodges (1971); Tuttle (2007)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Forbes (1948); Wagner (2005); Tuttle (2007)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: A medium-sized species with narrow forewings and conspicuous eyespots on the hindwings. Similar in pattern to Smerinthus jamaicensis, from which it is distinguished by its typical brown instead of gray ground color; absence of the dark crescent at the apex of the wing and presence of a black discal spot; more undulate outer margin of the forewing; and a single rather than double eyespot center. Sexes are similar.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: Larvae are also similar to those of S. jamaicensis: green with a series of oblique lateral stripes, the last of which extending onto the caudal horn; also covered with granules. The horn is green rather than blue as it is in jamaicensis (for other differences, see Wagner, 2005). Pupation occurs underground.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Occurs statewide with the possible exception of the Barrier Islands. Common in the mountains but less so elsewhere.
County Map: Clicking on a county returns the records for the species in that county.
Flight Dates:
 High Mountains (HM) ≥ 4,000 ft.
 Low Mountains (LM) < 4,000 ft.
 Piedmont (Pd)
 Coastal Plain (CP)

Click on graph to enlarge
Immature Dates:
 High Mountains (HM) ≥ 4,000 ft.
 Low Mountains (LM) < 4,000 ft.
 Piedmont (Pd)
 Coastal Plain (CP)

Click on graph to enlarge
Flight Comments: Probably multiple broods but our records are continuous and do not show specific flight periods.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: The majority of our records come from the Mountains from both mesic habitats, including riparian and cove forests, and from dry ridges. Records from the Coastal Plain are also numerous, primarily from Longleaf Pine savannas, flatwoods, and sandhills, but also from brownwater river floodplains and other stands dominated by hardwoods; appears to be absent, however, from peatlands and maritime habitats. The relatively few Piedmont records we have come from both wetland and dry upland habitats.
Larval Host Plants: Polyphagous. One of the few generalist sphingid species feeding on a variety of hardwood trees and shrubs, but we have little information of what plants are preferred (which could vary across the state).
Observation Methods: Comes regularly to 15 watt UV lights, usually as single individuals but occasionally in multiples; does not nectar at flowers or come to fermented baits.
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for General Hardwood Forests
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G5 [S5]
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: With its statewide distribution, wide range of host plants, and broad habitat use, this species appears to be secure.

 Photo Gallery for Paonias excaecata - Blind-eyed Sphinx

57 photos are available. Only the most recent 30 are shown.

Recorded by: Owen McConnell on 2021-07-18
Graham Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-07-06
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-07-06
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: tom ward on 2021-06-26
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-05-31
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Owen McConnell on 2021-05-23
Graham Co.
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Recorded by: Simpson Eason on 2020-09-08
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Simpson Eason on 2020-09-02
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2020-08-13
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-08-08
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-08-08
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-06-07
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: L. Purvis on 2019-08-31
Chatham Co.
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Recorded by: Owen and Pat McConnell on 2019-06-05
Graham Co.
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Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2019-05-27
Yancey Co.
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Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2019-05-27
Yancey Co.
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Recorded by: R. Evans on 2019-04-29
Onslow Co.
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Recorded by: Michael P. Morales on 2018-08-22
Cumberland Co.
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Recorded by: Owen and Pat McConnell on 2018-07-16
Graham Co.
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Recorded by: Owen and Pat McConnell on 2018-07-14
Graham Co.
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Recorded by: Owen and Pat McConnell on 2018-07-14
Graham Co.
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Recorded by: Owen and Pat McConnell on 2018-07-12
Graham Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-06-02
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2016-08-02
Yancey Co.
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Recorded by: Lori Owenby on 2016-06-29
Yancey Co.
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Recorded by: Lori Owenby on 2016-06-29
Yancey Co.
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Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2016-06-28
Yancey Co.
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Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2016-06-06
Burke Co.
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Recorded by: Paul Scharf on 2015-08-24
Warren Co.
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Recorded by: B. Bockhahn, P. Scharf, S. Hall on 2015-07-22
Stanly Co.
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