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



Smerinthus cerisyi

Cerisy's Eyed Hawk Moth




This is our commonest hawk moth. Like Paonias excaecatus, but unlike our other hawk moths, cerisyi has no functional proboscis and the adult does not feed. The smooth, shiny oval eggs are laid singly or in pairs from June to August. The horn of the first instar caterpillar is red and can be seen before it hatches from its egg. In later instars the horn becomes blue. There are two colour varieties of the caterpillar, a bluish green and a yellowish-green. The caterpillars feed on willow. Anyone who comes across a hawk moth (sphingid) caterpillar for the first time may need to be reassured that the curved "horn" near the end of the caterpillar is quite harmless - it is not a sting!

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