Butterflies and Moths of Southern Vancouver Island--Jeremy B. Tatum



Sphinx vashti



This magnificent moth is the largest hawk moth in the area, being exceeded in size only by the giant silk moths (Saturniidae), and is a most powerful and imposing insect. Its tongue (haustellum) is so long that the pupa has a special compartment for it. The caterpillar feeds on Snowberry. Hemaris diffinis also feeds on Snowberry, but, unlike vashti, it does not have oblique stripes, and it never approaches the huge size of a full-grown vashti. Smerinthus cerisyi and Paonias excaecatus have oblique stripes but do not feed on Snowberry and, when full-grown, they have triangular head capsules. It is many years since I have seen Sphinx vashti, and I suspect that it is now extirpated from this area.

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