Currently viewing the category: "Hummingbird Moths, Sphinx Moths or Hawk Moths"
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Subject: Beekiller?
Location: Germany
August 31, 2015 12:23 pm
Hi guys,
my dad found this in one of his beehives? It’s about 2.8 inches long and I have absolutely no idea what this could be.
Kind regards,
Signature: Benedikt

Death's Head Hawkmoth, we presume.

Death’s Head Hawkmoth, we presume.

Dear Benedikt,
Would that we had a lepidopterist on our staff, we could conclusively provide you with an identification of this Hawkmoth based on vein patterns and other characteristics, but you have submitted your request to a pop culture site with artists, not entomologists, on its staff.  Since there are no scales remaining on the wings or body of this Hawkmoth in the family Sphingidae, our identification is conjecture.  We believe this is a Death’s Head Hawkmoth,
Acherontia atropos, a species reported in Europe during the summer months.  According to Sphingidae of the Western Palaearctic:  “Many individuals have been seen to frequent bee-hives where, upon entry, they feed undisturbed on the honey, puncturing combs with their short, sharp proboscises. Moritz et al. (1991) have shown that this species makes itself ‘chemically invisible’ to honeybees by mimicking the cutaneous fatty acids of its hosts. If disturbed while feeding, or for that matter at any other time, the adults raise their wings, run and hop around, while emitting high-pitched squeaks.”  We don’t know what caused the loss of wing and body scales in your individual, which resulted in a loss of the visual characteristics of the species, including the thoracic pattern that has been likened to a human skull.  You did not indicate if the moth was found dead or alive.  We believe it would have been very difficult for your individual to fly in its condition, we causes us to conjecture that it lost its life once it entered the bee hive, though we cannot say if it was stung by bees as an intruder, or if your father killed it while attempting to collect it.  As we know of no other Hawkmoths that enter bee hives, we are relatively certain our identification is correct.  According to Encyclopedia of Life:  “Nectar and sugar eaters, adult moths like honey, and because they produce a scent mimicking the scent of bees, they can climb into hives without alarming the bees inside. Their thick skin also protects them from stings. Unlike the other two species which are more general in types of bees they raid, A. atropos only invades the hives of the Western honey bee, Apis mellifera. Another unusual feature of this moth is that it makes a loud squeaking sound as a protective device if it is threatened.”

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Subject: Found this at work. York, England.
Location: York, England
August 30, 2015 3:57 am
I found this little dude asleep at work. He crawled onto my hand and sat for ages before I put him on a bush outside. I’ve never seen anything like this guy! He was big for English moths!
Signature: Laura, England

LIme Hawkmoth

LIme Hawkmoth

Hi Laura,
This beauty is a Lime Hawkmoth,
Mimas tiliae, and according to UK Moths:  “A reasonably common species in the southern half of Britain, it was most frequent in the London area, where there are still extensive tree-lined avenues. In recent years its distribution has spread northwards and is now regularly found well into North Yorkshire and beyond.”

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Subject: Moth in Arizona
Location: Gold Canyon, AZ
August 29, 2015 4:36 pm
This moth is on my back patio door with his wings folded. I almost missed him. I touched his body and his wings opened.
Signature: Lucy in AZ

Five Spotted Hawkmoth

Five Spotted Hawkmoth

Dear Lucy,
This impressive moth is a Five Spotted Hawkmoth,
Manduca quinquemaculata, and its caterpillars feed on the leaves of tomato and other cultivated plants in the same family.  You can compare your image to this image on BugGuide.

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Subject: What is this bug?
Location: Delaware, USA
August 13, 2015 6:27 am
Would like to identify the bug in the attached photo. It was flying around a butterfly bush.
Signature: Pete

Snowberry Clearwing

Snowberry Clearwing

Dear Pete,
This is one of the diurnal Sphinx Moths in the genus
Hemaris, and we believe it is most likely the Snowberry Clearwing, Hemaris diffinis.    According to BugGuide, it can be differentiated from other members of the genus because:  “legs black; underside mostly black.”  The flower looks like an Agapanthus, erroneously called a Lily of the Nile as they are not lilies and they originate in South Africa.

Daniel,
Thank you for the information. The Snowberry Clearwing is about two inches in length. I’ve never observed a flying bug with those markings. And yes that is an Agapanthus which is next to my butterfly bush which the Snowberry Clearwing frequents as well. I was taking photos of a hummingbird when the SC appeared. I looked for it on your site and could not find it there. Do you have it listed? The photo was taken in Delaware.
Again, thank you for the information. I will try to capture additional photos for my collection of insect photos.

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Subject: Is this a type of moth?
Location: Haines City. Florida
August 4, 2015 9:06 am
Is this a type of Moth?
Signature: Alex Dove

Banded Sphinx

Banded Sphinx

Dear Alex,
Your moth is a Banded Sphinx,
Eumorpha fasciatus, and you can compare your image to this image on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “Larvae feed on Evening Primrose, Oenothera species, Water Primrose, Ludwigia species, and other related plants (Onagraceae).  Adults are crepuscular to nocturnal and feed on nectar.”

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Subject:  Need to know What Bug is this?
Location: Pune, Maharashtra, India
Aug 1 2015
Hi,
We got this bug clicked at Pune city, Maharashtra, India. Not sure what species and name of this.
I guess this is some kind of Moth.
Could you please provide the details please.

Oleander Hawkmoth

Oleander Hawkmoth

This is a newly metamorphosed Oleander Hawkmoth and its wings have not yet expanded.

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