Our larger local moths certainly attract more attention.
Larger species generally include the Giant Silkworm Moths (Family Saturniidae) and the Sphinx Moths (Family Sphingidae). One of the largest and most common of our northeastern North Dakota moths is the Polyphemus Moth (Antheraea polyphemus), a member of the family Saturniidae. The family Sphingidae, which includes the Sphinx Moths and Hawkmoths, is well-represented in our area. We’ve at least eight genera of Sphinx Moths in our area, and there are probably many more genera to be found once one begins looking carefully. Sphinx Moths are often mistaken for hummingbirds.
All but one of the 13 moth species shown above are found on pages 254-269 of the Peterson Field Guide to Moths of Northeastern North America. The single specimen that isn’t included in the field guide is a western species, the Vashti Sphinx (Sphinx vashti).
I’m really looking forward to finding and photographing new local genera and species for these two families this Spring and Summer, 2014.