Adult: FW a cryptic mix of pale gray and dark brown with cross vein at end of discal cell; other veins toward outer margin usually outlined in paler brown. HW eyespot blue, usually with black bull's eye in middle, and thick black outer ring; small to large amount of pink shading surrounding eyespot.
Larva: body pale bluish-green or yellowish-green with granular skin, pale lateral diagonal lines, faint red spiracular circles, and very pale longitudinal lines running from the head to a more pronounced anal diagonal line; anal horn red in first instar, becoming blue in later instars; head green, bounded dorsally by pale yellow inverted V
Formerly defined as "coast to coast in northern United States, plus all of Canada (including the arctic) and into Alaska, south in the west to California and across to western Texas, south in the east to Tennessee and Missouri".
Now the populations in California, Washington, Oregon, and most of British Columbia have been split off as a separate species, Smerinthus ophthalmica. Both S. ophthalmica and S. cerisyi occur together in Alberta and portions of the interior mountain West. Where they occur together, the species are nearly impossible to separate.
river margins and low ground where food plants grow
adults fly from May to July or August
larvae feed on leaves of pear, plum, poplar, willow
adults do not feed
one generation per year; overwinters as a pupa; smooth, shiny oval eggs are laid singly or in pairs from June to August
Mated pair; eggs; early instar larva; larva; larvae; adult
Mating: female extends scent gland from posterior of abdomen to lure night-flying males; male aligns body at 180 degrees from female during pairing, which continues until the following evening
) hindwing has blue eyespot divided by black bar
) hindwing has no black center in blue eyespot - hence "blinded" - and has 6-8 toothlike lobes on outer margin of forewing
Moth Photographers Group
– images of live & pinned adults
- images of pinned DNA supported specimens
Sphingidae of the Americas
- Bill Oehlke's species page