Currently viewing the category: "Hummingbird Moths, Sphinx Moths or Hawk Moths"
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Subject: Weird Moth
Location: California
April 8, 2015 9:57 pm
Hello,
I’ve identified lots of bugs thanks to your website and I was hoping you could help me identify this moth I found flying outside. I didn’t get any pictures of the body, but it looked tan with black spots. I’ve never seen a moth like this and I was curious about what it was. The body was about two inches long and I usually don’t see moths that big where I live. I would really appreciate it if you could help me out. I really want to be an entomologist, and I would like to know as much as I can about bugs for now. Thanks!
Signature: Melanie Ramos

Whitelined Sphinx

Whitelined Sphinx

Dear Melanie,
Good luck on your career goals.  This is a Whitelined Sphinx,
Hyles lineata, a common species in California as well as in most of North America.  We just posted an image of a Whitelined Sphinx Caterpillar.  In arid desert areas, there are periodical population explosions of both the adult moths and the caterpillars.  We are currently visited nightly by anywhere between one and four individuals coming to the porch light.

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is it?
Location: San Diego, CA
March 18, 2015 9:45 pm
Found this in our kitchen tonight. Six year old is studying insects in science now and doing a report on dragonflies. Curious what this critter is.
Signature: The Duncans

Whitelined Sphinx

Whitelined Sphinx

Dear Duncans,
Alas your child cannot use these images to illustrate a report on Dragonflies as it is a Sphinx Moth, more specifically a Whitelined Sphinx,
Hyles lineata.  Like dragonflies, Whitelined Sphinx Moths are very aerodynamic in flight and they are often mistaken for hummingbirds.  Whitelined Sphinx Moths are currently flying in Southern California.  This is a species that periodically experiences population explosions that tend to coincide with years when there is lush desert growth.  The rain patter this winter, though we are still firmly entrenched in a drought, was so wide spread that it was conducive to a lush desert growth, and we expect it to be a big year for both Caterpillars and adult Whitelined Sphinx Moth.

Whitelined Sphinx

Whitelined Sphinx

Thanks so much for the info.  My daughter was excited to read your email.  We didn’t really think it was a dragonfly, but have had insects on the brain.  We appreciate your work!
Kristin

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this bug? Butterfly and wasp look a like.
Location: Southern California
March 21, 2015 1:46 am
I was doing laundry when I found this bug dead on the ground next to the machine. I’ve never seen one before. It had a butterfly like mouth that was swirly, but it had a big long wasp like torso, but more brown. Its wings were also more like a wasps. This was in southern California. Help appreciated!
Signature: Wanderers Friend

Sphinx Moth

Sphinx Moth

Dear Wanderers Friend,
All we can say for certain is that this is a moth in the family Sphingidae.  All the wing and body scales have been removed, making identification from an image rather impossible, leading us to believe this Sphinx Moth may have been washed with a load of laundry.  Whitelined Sphinx Moth are currently quite plentiful on the wing in Southern California, so that is a very good candidate for an identity.

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Can you identify this bug?
Location: Bangalore, India
March 16, 2015 9:52 pm
Hi
I found an insect in my garden that I haven’t seen before. Can you tell me what it is?
It has was camouflaged on wood, it has wings and a body like a bee. It looks like it stings. I’ve got quite close to it and it hasn’t moved yet, but it is alive.
Please see the attached picture.
Signature: Tanaya

Death's Head Hawkmoth

Death’s Head Hawkmoth

Dear Tanaya,
Your image appears to have had some filter effect added to it, which is not ideal for identification purposes, but your Death’s Head Hawkmoth in the genus
 Acherontia is still recognizable.  It is a perfectly harmless species that poses no threat to humans. 

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Help!
Location: California
February 25, 2015 10:37 am
Bugman, what in the heavens is this world coming to? I was starving and wishing that someone would make me a hot meal when I went outside and noticed this monstrosity out on the cement! Now I don’t know about you, but I think it’s safe to say that this creature is a sure fire fact that evolution exists as it is most certainly something entirely new!
PS. I hope you appreciate my photography skills as I almost lost my head taking them!
Signature: Tight Red Jeans

Whitelined Sphinx

Whitelined Sphinx

Dear Tight Red Jeans,
This Whitelined Sphinx or Striped Morning Sphinx,
Hyles lineata, is one of the most common, larger moths found in California.  When conditions are right, great quantities of the edible caterpillars are found on desert plants, and they will metamorphose into moths that are generally seen at dawn or dusk, are attracted to lights, and that are easily mistaken for hummingbirds.  You could have eaten the moth to prevent starvation.  We are curious to find out how you almost lost your head.

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this insect?
Location: Bangalore, India
February 16, 2015 7:54 am
This picture was sent to me by one of my friends. I have never seen an insect like this. To me it appears to be a moth but i’m totally naive in this. But i was interested in finding out this little guy’s name. So i searched the internet and found your website good. Can you please tell about it.???
Signature: Shubhojeet

Oleander Hawkmoth from India

Oleander Hawkmoth from India

Dear Shubhojeet,
You are correct that this is a moth, more specificially an Oleander Hawkmoth.

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination