Small-eyed sphinx

Paonias myops moth

Common Name: Small-eyed sphinx

Scientific Name: Paonias myops

Season: Two generations in New England, with adults by April and again in July; caterpillars by May and again in August.

Food: Cherry, hawthorn, and shadbush.

Ecology: Caterpillars are nocturnal, feeding during the night and hiding on damaged leaves or near the base of branches to avoid predation. Caterpillars seem to avoid new leaves and feed on older branches so as to not expose themselves. In contrast, the adults are quite conspicuous, bearing large eyespots on their hindwings that may startle nocturnal predators and give the adults a chance to escape. Caterpillars overwinter as pupae.

Doug Tallamy Photo