Species Details

Sphinx vashti

University of Alberta E.H. Strickland Entomological Museum Read more about this collection »

Common NameVashti Sphinx SeasonalityAdults have been collected in Alberta from early May to late August. IdentificationThe smallest of the "grey" Alberta sphinx, but nevertheless a large (6.5-10.0 cm wingspan), narrow-winged heavy-bodied moth. The forewings are dull grey with four short black horizontal streaks, a bent apical streak and a thin prominent black subterminal line. The lower half of the forewing base is darker grey and contrasts with the costa, which is much paler on the basal half. Hindwings are white with a narrow black median band and a broad black terminal band with a narrow grey outer edge. The fringe of both wings is dark grey. The thorax is variable, black to pale grey, and there are prominent black and white spots along the sides of the abdomen. S. chersis is similar but larger and has a much less contrasting pattern, especially on the hindwings. Old Alberta records of Sphinx mordecai (Bowman, 1951) refer to vashti.

Scientific Name Sphinx vashti Common Name Vashti Sphinx Seasonality Adults have been collected in Alberta from early May to late August. Identification
The smallest of the "grey" Alberta sphinx, but nevertheless a large (6.5-10.0 cm wingspan), narrow-winged heavy-bodied moth. The forewings are dull grey with four short black horizontal streaks, a bent apical streak…
The smallest of the "grey" Alberta sphinx, but nevertheless a large (6.5-10.0 cm wingspan), narrow-winged heavy-bodied moth. The forewings are dull grey with four short black horizontal streaks, a bent apical streak and a thin prominent black subterminal line. The lower half of the forewing base is darker grey and contrasts with the costa, which is much paler on the basal half. Hindwings are white with a narrow black median band and a broad black terminal band with a narrow grey outer edge. The fringe of both wings is dark grey. The thorax is variable, black to pale grey, and there are prominent black and white spots along the sides of the abdomen. S. chersis is similar but larger and has a much less contrasting pattern, especially on the hindwings. Old Alberta records of Sphinx mordecai (Bowman, 1951) refer to vashti.
Life History
The Vashti sphinx is nocturnal and comes to light. Larvae are solitary defoliators and overwinter as pupae. They have a rather extended flight period in Alberta and the possibility of more than one brood per season…
The Vashti sphinx is nocturnal and comes to light. Larvae are solitary defoliators and overwinter as pupae. They have a rather extended flight period in Alberta and the possibility of more than one brood per season should be investigated.
Conservation A common widespread moth; no concerns. Diet Info No Alberta data: elsewhere snowberry (Symphoricarpos sp.) is reported to be the larval host. Range
West to Vancouver Island, south to southern California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. In Alberta, vashti is common throughout the Grasslands and Aspen Parklands regions, north into the settled areas of the southern…
West to Vancouver Island, south to southern California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. In Alberta, vashti is common throughout the Grasslands and Aspen Parklands regions, north into the settled areas of the southern Boreal forest to at least Barrhead, as well as in the Peace River district. They have also been collected in the dryer open areas of the foothills and low elevations in the mountains, from about Calgary, south.

Citation

Page Citation for Sphinx vashti

Page Citation

"Sphinx vashti, University of Alberta E.H. Strickland Entomological Museum." University of Alberta Museums Search Site, https://search.museums.ualberta.ca/g/2-1120. Accessed 25 Jul. 2021.

Taxonomic Hierarchy

Kingdom Animalia Phylum Arthropoda Class Hexapoda Subclass Insecta Order Lepidoptera Suborder Ditrysia Superfamily Sphingoidea Family Sphingidae Genus Sphinx Species Sphinx vashti
This hierarchy is created from our museum records, it may not always accurately reflect modern taxonomies.

Taxonomic Hierarchy for University of Alberta E.H. Strickland Entomological Museum