Species Details

Pachysphinx modesta

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

Common NameBig Poplar Sphinx SeasonalityAdults are on the wing from mid May through mid July. IdentificationA very large moth (10.0-12.0 cm. wingspan) with long, narrow forewings banded with light and dark grey-brown and a maroon hindwing with a blue-black blotch in the anal angle. Nearly impossible to mistake for any other Alberta moth. Very pale specimens from southern Alberta have been called Pachysphinx occidentalis. P. occidentalis is a much lighter tan moth with more extensive maroon shading on the hindwing. However, Alberta specimens appear to grade from pale to dark forms, and all Alberta Pachysphinx are treated here as modesta, pending further study.

Scientific Name Pachysphinx modesta Common Name Big Poplar Sphinx Habitat Open mature poplar forest or mixedwood forest with poplar. Seasonality Adults are on the wing from mid May through mid July. Identification
A very large moth (10.0-12.0 cm. wingspan) with long, narrow forewings banded with light and dark grey-brown and a maroon hindwing with a blue-black blotch in the anal angle. Nearly impossible to mistake for any other…
A very large moth (10.0-12.0 cm. wingspan) with long, narrow forewings banded with light and dark grey-brown and a maroon hindwing with a blue-black blotch in the anal angle. Nearly impossible to mistake for any other Alberta moth. Very pale specimens from southern Alberta have been called Pachysphinx occidentalis. P. occidentalis is a much lighter tan moth with more extensive maroon shading on the hindwing. However, Alberta specimens appear to grade from pale to dark forms, and all Alberta Pachysphinx are treated here as modesta, pending further study.
Life History
Adult Big Poplar sphinx are nocturnal, and come readily to light. The large green larvae are reputed to be the largest insect in Alberta, based on weight. The larval stage extends from mid-July to September, and they…
Adult Big Poplar sphinx are nocturnal, and come readily to light. The large green larvae are reputed to be the largest insect in Alberta, based on weight. The larval stage extends from mid-July to September, and they overwinter in the ground as pupae.
Conservation A common, widespread moth. No concerns. Diet Info No Alberta data. Elsewhere poplars, and in particular aspen poplar. There are also single reports from willow and birch, but these should be confirmed. Range
Throughout much of North America, from the Gulf States north into the Boreal forest region across Canada. In Alberta, it occurs in cottonwood stands along the rivers of the plains (occidentalis ?) north into the…
Throughout much of North America, from the Gulf States north into the Boreal forest region across Canada. In Alberta, it occurs in cottonwood stands along the rivers of the plains (occidentalis ?) north into the boreal forest at least to Ft. McMurray, and west into the mountains at low elevations.
Pachysphinx modesta
Pachysphinx modesta

Citation

Page Citation for Pachysphinx modesta

Page Citation

"Species Details - Pachysphinx modesta, University of Alberta E.H. Strickland Entomological Museum." University of Alberta Museums Search Site, https://search.museums.ualberta.ca/g/2-439. Accessed 22 Jul. 2024.

References

Specimen Information

There are 45 specimens of this Species.

45 results plotted on map in 31 markers.
Note: Only records with latitude and longitude coordinates are plotted on map.

UASM14114 - Pachysphinx modesta

University of Alberta E.H. Strickland Entomological Museum

Place CollectedCanada: Alberta, Burdett Collected BySalt, Reginald W. Date Collected1925-05-26

UASM14112 - Pachysphinx modesta

University of Alberta E.H. Strickland Entomological Museum

Place CollectedCanada: Alberta, Devon Collected ByBraybrook, G. Date Collected1978-06-18

UASM14108 - Pachysphinx modesta

University of Alberta E.H. Strickland Entomological Museum

Place CollectedCanada: Alberta, Edmonton Collected ByBowman, K. Date Collected1942-07-24

UASM14119 - Pachysphinx modesta

University of Alberta E.H. Strickland Entomological Museum

Place CollectedCanada: Alberta, Edmonton Collected ByBowman, K. Date Collected1945-08-03

UASM14125 - Pachysphinx modesta

University of Alberta E.H. Strickland Entomological Museum

Place CollectedCanada: Alberta, Edmonton Collected ByBowman, K. Date Collected1947-07-04

UASM14105 - Pachysphinx modesta

University of Alberta E.H. Strickland Entomological Museum

Place CollectedCanada: Alberta, Red Deer Collected ByBowman, K. Date Collected1923-06-18

UASM19624 - Pachysphinx modesta

University of Alberta E.H. Strickland Entomological Museum

Place CollectedCanada: Alberta, Fort Assiniboine Collected ByLawrie, D. Date Collected1999-06-26

UASM19819 - Pachysphinx modesta

University of Alberta E.H. Strickland Entomological Museum

Place CollectedCanada: Alberta, Redwater Collected ByLawrie, D. Date Collected1999-06-15

BIRD2080 - Pachysphinx modesta

University of Alberta E.H. Strickland Entomological Museum

Place CollectedCanada: Alberta, Erskine Collected ByBird, C. D. Date Collected2000-06-06

BIRD2081 - Pachysphinx modesta

University of Alberta E.H. Strickland Entomological Museum

Place CollectedCanada: Alberta, Buffalo Lake Provincial Recreation Area Collected ByBird, C. D. Date Collected2001-05-31

BIRD2082 - Pachysphinx modesta

University of Alberta E.H. Strickland Entomological Museum

Place CollectedCanada: Alberta, Rochon Sands Provincial Park Collected ByBird, C. D. Date Collected2001-06-06

BIRD2083 - Pachysphinx modesta

University of Alberta E.H. Strickland Entomological Museum

Place CollectedCanada: Alberta, Rochon Sands Provincial Park Collected ByBird, C. D. Date Collected2001-06-06

BIRD2084 - Pachysphinx modesta

University of Alberta E.H. Strickland Entomological Museum

Place CollectedCanada: Alberta, Rochon Sands Provincial Park Collected ByBird, C. D. Date Collected2001-06-19

BIRD2085 - Pachysphinx modesta

University of Alberta E.H. Strickland Entomological Museum

Place CollectedCanada: Alberta, Rochon Sands Provincial Park Collected ByBird, C. D. Date Collected2001-06-19

BIRD2086 - Pachysphinx modesta

University of Alberta E.H. Strickland Entomological Museum

Place CollectedCanada: Alberta, Buffalo Lake Provincial Recreation Area Collected ByBird, C. D. Date Collected2001-06-22

BIRD2087 - Pachysphinx modesta

University of Alberta E.H. Strickland Entomological Museum

Place CollectedCanada: Alberta, Erskine Collected ByBird, C. D. Date Collected2002-06-10

BIRD2088 - Pachysphinx modesta

University of Alberta E.H. Strickland Entomological Museum

Place CollectedCanada: Alberta, Nevis Collected ByBird, C. D. Date Collected2002-06-14

BIRD2089 - Pachysphinx modesta

University of Alberta E.H. Strickland Entomological Museum

Place CollectedCanada: Alberta, Buffalo Lake Provincial Recreation Area Collected ByBird, C. D. Date Collected2003-06-29

BIRD2090 - Pachysphinx modesta

University of Alberta E.H. Strickland Entomological Museum

Place CollectedCanada: Alberta, Erskine Collected ByBird, C. D. Date Collected2003-06-30

BIRD5899 - Pachysphinx modesta

University of Alberta E.H. Strickland Entomological Museum

Place CollectedCanada: Alberta, Rochon Sands Provincial Park Collected ByBird, C. D. Date Collected2004-05-25

BIRD5900 - Pachysphinx modesta

University of Alberta E.H. Strickland Entomological Museum

Place CollectedCanada: Alberta, Big Knife Provincial Park Collected ByBird, C. D. Date Collected2004-05-27

Adult Seasonal Distribution