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Blind Sphinx Moth

Paonias excaecatus


2.5" - 3" wingspan (55-85 mm) on average. Many shades of tan and brown to forest green patterning fore wings; hind wings contain some tan, but are mostly rosy pink to pastel orange with a black outlined blue-gray "eye spot" on each. Thick abdomen, thicker thorax with greenish brown hair, almost like a coat. Pronounced pectinate antennae.


"River margins and low ground, where willows grow." - According to the iPhone app Audubon: Butterflies (smartphone versions of Audubon guides, available from Green Mountain Digital, have been indispensable tools throughout my every semester in college). Caterpillars feed on a large variety of deciduous trees and shrubs. Mendon, Vermont, where this specimen was found, is a perfect habitat for the critters.


Close relatives of this moth include Cerisy's Sphinx (Smerinthus cerisyi), whose blue-gray spots include black dots ("pupils") within, and the Twin-spotted Sphinx (Smerinthus jamaicensis), whose blue-gray spots have a black line running through the center of each. The reason this Sphinx is "blind" is due to a lack of any black markings (or "pupils") within the "eye" spots.

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Nicholas Trapeni
Nicholas Trapeni 9 years ago

I included where it was found at the bottom, but I will expand it to include the exact habitat in Mendon it was found in. Thanks.

Hi Nicholas and welcome to Project Noah.
Please refer to our FAQs for information on how to complete the various fields, in particular the Habitat field which should state the actual habitat where that particular spotting was made, not general information which can be gleaned from reference sources. One of our aims is to create a record of any habitat changes which are taking place so that in time reference sources can be updated if it is deemed necessary.

Nicholas Trapeni
Spotted by
Nicholas Trapeni

Vermont, USA

Spotted on Jul 10, 2012
Submitted on Mar 9, 2013

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