Moths of Philadelphia: A Checklist

 

 

The moths of Philadelphia are an exclusive bunch, numbering only fifty-two species. The 52 species on this list are confirmed to fly around in theCity of Philadelphia (Philadelphia County). I am fascinated by moths, but I often don’t venture out moth-hunting. I can go in my garden at night, but for the last week I have been a “walking mosquito buffet”. So, no going outside after dusk.

I think moths are often prettier than butterflies.

 

Further Moth-flavored Info

There are over 10,500 identified species of moths in North America, north of Mexico. And there very few books on moths except a handful of regional guides. Caterpillars of Eastern North America: A Guide to Identification and Natural History (Princeton Field Guides) by David L. Wagner is one-of-kind and I find it extremely useful. I would like to read Owlet Caterpillars of Eastern North America also by David L. Wagner, but there is only one Owlet moth listed for Philadelphia, the Striped Garden Caterpillar. But, the book may be valuable for your hometown.  Create your county list and find out.

Mr. John Snyder’s website is useful for identification http://facweb.furman.edu/%7Esnyderjohn/leplist/

Since this list is for my hometown of Philly, don’t despair. You can generate a list for your county at the website of Butterflies and Moths of North America sponsored by Montana State University  at http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/. Look under “regional lists”.

All the hyperlinks below take you to the species account at the Butterflies and Moths of North America website.

Moths of Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania

Saturniidae Wild Silk Moths

Automeris io Io moth
Hemileuca maia Eastern buckmoth
Antheraea polyphemus Polyphemus moth
Callosamia angulifera Tuliptree silkmoth
Callosamia promethea Promethea silkmoth
Hyalophora cecropia Cecropia silkmoth
Samia cynthia Ailanthus silkmoth
Anisota stigma Spiny oakworm moth
Citheronia regalis Royal Walnut Moth
Eacles imperialis Imperial moth

Sphingidae Sphinx Moths, Hawkmoths

Agrius cingulata Pink-spotted hawkmoth
Amorpha juglandis Walnut sphinx
Ceratomia amyntor Elm sphinx
Ceratomia catalpae Catalpa sphinx
Ceratomia undulosa Waved sphinx
Dolba hyloeus Pawpaw sphinx
Lapara coniferarum Southern pine sphinx
Manduca quinquemaculata Five-spotted hawkmoth
Manduca sexta Carolina sphinx
Pachysphinx modesta Modest sphinx
Paonias myops Small-eyed sphinx
Paratraea plebeja Plebeian sphinx
Sphinx chersis Great ash sphinx
Sphinx eremitus Hermit sphinx
Sphinx franckii Franck’s sphinx
Sphinx kalmiae Laurel sphinx
Aellopos tantalus Tantalus sphinx
Amphion floridensis Nessus sphinx
Darapsa myron Virginia creeper sphinx
Deidamia inscriptum Lettered sphinx
Enyo lugubris Mournful sphinx
Erinnyis ello Ello sphinx
Eumorpha achemon Achemon sphinx
Eumorpha labruscae Gaudy sphinx
Eumorpha pandorus Pandorus sphinx
Eumorpha vitis Vine sphinx
Hemaris diffinis Snowberry clearwing
Hemaris gracilis Slender clearwing
Hemaris thysbe Hummingbird clearwing
Hyles lineata White-lined sphinx
Xylophanes tersa Tersa sphinx

Notodontidae Prominents

Heterocampa biundata Wavy-lined Heterocampa

Arctiidae Tiger Moths and Lichen Moths

Crambidia uniformis Uniform Lichen Moth
Halysidota harrisii Sycamore Tussock Moth
Hypercompe scribonia Great Leopard Moth

Noctuidae Owlet Moths, Miller Moths

Trichordestra legitima Striped Garden Caterpillar

Yponomeutidae Yponomeutid Moths

Atteva aurea Ailanthus Webworm Moth

Pyralidae Pyralid Moths

Plodia interpunctella Indian-Meal Moth

Geometridae Geometer Moths, Looper Moths

Synchlora aerata Wavy-Lined Emerald

4 comments

  1. And don’t forget to mention that wonderful resource: Bugguide.net, http://bugguide.net/node/view/82.
    You can narrow it down to Philadelphia county: http://bugguide.net/adv_search/bgsearch.php?user=&taxon=82&description=&location%5B%5D=PA&county=Philadelphia&adult=&immature=&male=&female=&representative= and you can use a google map from that link.
    I use it all the time. I have contributed a few images of moths from Southeastern PA to this site; but I tend to take more pictures of bees and flies than moths.

  2. Thanks, I can really use these resources. It looks like BAMONA welcomes submissions of pics to help with ID. I just might avail myself.

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