Currently viewing the category: "Hummingbird Moths, Sphinx Moths or Hawk Moths"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What’s this moth?
Location: Sumner Co, KS, USA
September 20, 2016 1:43 pm
We live in Kansas, and found this moth in our garage. It really really looks like the Blackburn’s Sphinx Moth, but how can that be since we live in Kansas?!
Signature: Sincerely

Carolina Sphinx

Carolina Sphinx

According to Sphingidae of the Americas, Blackburn’s Sphinx, Manduca blackburni, was:  “Previously known from all the main islands, [but] this rare endemic Hawaiian sphinx moth is now known only from Maui.”  Your moth, the Carolina Sphinx, Manduca sexta, looks similar to Blackburn’s Sphinx because it is in the same genus.  Because its caterpillar, the Tobacco Hornworm, feeds on tomato plants, the Carolina Sphinx is relatively common across North America.  You can read more about the Carolina Sphinx on Sphingidae of the Americas.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What’s this Sphinx Moth?
Location: Pensacola FL
September 7, 2016 4:40 pm
Can you help me identify this moth?
Signature: Kristie Moore

Mournful Sphinx

Mournful Sphinx

Hi Kristie,
We used the Sphingidae of the Americas site to identify your Mournful Sphinx,
Enyo lugubris.  According to the site:  “Females call in the males with a pheromone released from a gland at the tip of the abdomen. Both males and females nectar at flowers during the day, making a strong whirring sound as they hover. In Florida they have been reported hovering over flowers of Asystasia gangetica at dusk.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Moth or bee?
Location: Brandon , Mississippi
September 3, 2016 4:34 pm
I tried identifying this insect and can’t find a pic of anything that looks like this. I thought it was a moth but then then it sort of looks like a bee too. Any ideas? Thank you.
Signature: Deb Pittman

Bumblebee Moth

Bumblebee Moth

Dear Deb,
Because it is a moth that mimics a bee, the Snowberry Clearwing,
Macroglossa diffinis, is commonly called a Bumblebee Moth.  According to Sphingidae of the Americas:  “Hemaris diffinis is a very variable species, but almost always the abdomen sports contrasting black and yellow hairs, the ventral surface being quite black. The legs also tend to be quite dark and there is a black mask running across the eye and along the sides of the thorax.  Adults mimic bumblebees and are quite variable, both geographically and seasonally. The wings are basically clear, with dark brown to brownish-orange veins, bases and edges. The thorax is golden-brown to dark greenish-brown. The abdomen tends to be dark (black) with 1-2 yellow segments just before the terminal end. These yellow segments are in much sharper contrast to the rest of the abdomen than in somewhat similar species. Also note the relatively narrow dark outer margin of the hindwing. Most fresh specimens also have some blue ‘fur’ tufts highlighting the first black band on the abdomen.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Rustic Sphinx Invasion?
August 25, 2016 6:35 pm
Hello there!
Thanks for having such an awesome and informative site, first of all!
Because of your site, I now know that the massive, palm-sized moths that seem to be taking over my front house neighbor’s home are in fact the Manduca rustica, or “Rustic Sphinx” moth.
However, knowing this about these magnificent moonlight-nectar-drinking creatures is unfortunately not enough. She’s quite set on having them OUT of her house and really I can’t blame her. In the past 2 days she’s found 4 of them! I was nearly convinced she’d just been encountering the same moth again and again except, after capturing one to relocate to a local nature preserve, I noticed a second one within short range of the first.
So, my question is:  How do you suppose would be best to deter them from coming in, or encourage them to leave?
I wouldn’t want to harm them, I definitely appreciate their existence as validation that our shared yard is a tiny oasis ecosystem…. But when you find them in your kitchen sink you start to wonder how far the ecosystem should spread.
Thank you for your time,
Janey
Phoenix, AZ
Signature: Janey

Rustic Sphinx (image from our archives)

Rustic Sphinx (image from our archives)

Dear Janey,
We wish you had supplied an image with your comment, but luckily we have no shortage of Rustic Sphinx images in our archives.  We would recommend two control methods for your neighbor.  We strongly suspect that outdoor lighting is attracting the moths, so keeping the porch light turned off, or having it on a motion activation sensor should help reduce the number of Rustic Sphinxes attracted to the home.  This is a large moth, and it must be gaining access to the home through gaps in the doors or windows, so using caulking to seal the gaps will also reduce the chances of critters getting inside.  Finally, we suspect this is an unusual seasonal event, perhaps due to ideal weather and other environmental conditions.  We believe this will pass within a month.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Hummingbird Lepidopteran
Location: Bronx NY
August 19, 2016 8:01 am
Found this beauty outside the butterfly garden I worked at this summer. Had large transparent patches on its wings.
Signature: Anthony Macchiano

Hummingbird Clearwing

Hummingbird Clearwing

Dear Anthony,
Though there are several similar looking, closely related species in your area, we agree that this is most likely a Hummingbird Clearwing,
Hemaris thysbe, and you can read more about it on the Sphingidae of the Americas site.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Another cool moth in Bridgewater CT
Location: Bridgewater, CT
August 16, 2016 8:10 pm
Hi. This is the 2nd cool moth I’ve seen in a month. The first was a male Tulip Tree Moth. I’ve attached 2 new pics and hope you can assist in identifying them for me! Thank you in advance.
Signature: Liz

Gallium Hawkmoth

Gallium Hawkmoth

Dear Liz,
This little beauty is a Gallium Hawkmoth or Bedstraw Hawkmoth,
Hyles gallii, and according to the Sphingidae of the Americas site:  “Hyles gallii ranges coast to coast in Canada (into the Yukon) and southward along the Rocky Mountains into Mexico. It is also widely distributed throughout Europe and Asia.” 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination