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

Subject: Moth
Location: Ribgwood, NJ
May 5, 2013 12:17 pm
I found this moth that appears to have a horn on ots back. Peculiar!
Signature: Christy

Lettered Sphinx

Lettered Sphinx

Hi Christy,
Though your photo is blurry, we believe we have correctly identified your moth as a Lettered Sphinx,
Deidamia inscriptum, thanks to photos posted on the Sphingidae of the Americas website.  The site states:  “Males rest with the typical strong curve to the abdomen,” which indicates your individual is a male.  Did you by chance mean Ringwood, New Jersey?

Hello. I am so sorry. Yes, Ringwood.
Sorry it is blurry. I was trying to get close without it flying away. I think it is still there. Very cool!!!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Found a moth, found your site, now to find out what it is!
Location: Richmond, VA, USA
April 25, 2013 2:01 pm
Hi there!
I found this fella today in the 5th floor stairwell of a parking deck in downtown Richmond, VA. I thought he was fairly big (until seeing some of the very large bugs on this site!); maybe about 3” wide, average-sized lady-hand included for scale. He seemed like he might have had an injured leg, and a little difficulty crawling. I figured he probably would rather be outside than in an under-construction parking deck, so relocated him to a tree (hopefully he hasn’t gotten eaten by a bird.. but he seemed to have pretty decent camouflage.)
Any idea what sort of moth this is? Thanks!
Signature: kira

Elm Sphinx

Elm Sphinx

Dear Kira,
This is one of the Sphinx Moths or Hawkmoths in the family Sphingidae, and we believe it is an Elm Sphinx or Four Horned Sphinx,
Agrius amyntor, based on photos posted to the Sphingidae of the Americas website.

Elm Sphinx

Elm Sphinx

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Moth found
Location: Ground, weak. Thought it was dead but turned out to be alive
April 14, 2013 6:58 am
I know this isn’t really a big but I’d like to know what this moth is. What type, its name, and special features about it. I found it in school in the United Arab Emirates, Dubai. Please reply (:
Signature: Normally

Death's Head Hawkmoth

Death’s Head Hawkmoth

Dear Normally,
Your moth is a Death’s Head Hawkmoth, one of three species in the genus
Acherontia that share the common name.  The Death’s Head Hawkmoth entered modern popular culture notoriety because of its featured role in the book Silence of the Lambs and its use in the poster for the award winning movie.  You can read more about the Death’s Head Hawkmoth on the EarthSky website and other places on the internet.  We haven’t the necessary skills to differentiate the three species from photos alone, and we generally refer to the publicized range for the different species.  We believe your moth is Acherontia styx and you can find additional information on the Sphingidae of the Western Palaearctic website where its range is listed as: “Lower Mesopotamia (Wiltshire, 1957), Saudi Arabia (Pittaway, 1979b; Wiltshire, 1980a), eastern Oman (Wiltshire, 1975a), southern Iran and eastern Afghanistan (Ebert, 1969); as a migrant, it has been found in Turkey, Syria (Wiltshire, 1980b) and Jordan (Pittaway, 1993; Müller et al., 2005a). A. styx has recently (1982) spread right across Saudi Arabia to Jeddah (Wiltshire, 1986), and may well colonize the African mainland in the near future.”  While most moths feed on nectar, The Sphingidae of the Western Palaearctic notes this species is:  “An avid robber of honey in bee hives in Oman (Pittaway, 1993). “  Your moth might actually be the best known member of the genus Acherontia atropos, as the range listed on the Sphingidae of the Western Palaearctic notes it is found in parts of the Middle East.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Moth
Location: Montebello, CA
April 2, 2013 6:40 pm
So I found this guy outside my friend’s house and had to catch him…however I can’t identify him. He is a bit bigger than a Half Dollar and well I need some help :)
Signature: George

Whitelined Sphinx

Whitelined Sphinx

Dear George,
If our front porch is any indication, there are record numbers of Whitelined Sphinxes or Striped Morning Sphinxes,
Hyles lineata, flying in Southern California this year, which means there were probably numerous Whitelined Sphinx Caterpillars last year, and if favorable conditions prevail, they will continue to multiply as long as there is a larval food source available.  We suspect that caterpillars feed on the fuschia we have growing in the shade garden outside our Mount Washington, Los Angeles offices, but caterpillars also feed on a wide variety of native desert foliage.  We were struck by one moth flying at dusk near our native plant garden and six individuals congregated at the porch light during the night.  One unfortunate individual was trampled when we failed to notice it on the welcome mat.

4 Sphinxes

4 Sphinxes

Update:  April 6, 2013
Last night, there was a knocking at the front door.  A mother raccoon and two cubs were tring to catch the Whitlined Sphinxes that were resting on the screen door.
  Then this morning we opened the door to this surprise:  4 Sphinxes were resting near the top of the door, well out of the reach of the raccoon.  Going outside revealed two more.  We can only wonder how many were eaten.

4 Sphinxes

4 Sphinxes

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What kind of a moth is this?
Location: Palmdale, CA
April 4, 2013 7:24 pm
These are on my lilacs, and I can’t find any on-line that look like them.
Signature: 6614920451

Whitelined Sphinx

Whitelined Sphinx

Dear 6614920451,
We are envious of your lilacs.  We planted two varieties that were allegedly bred for Southern California, but despite a cool north facing garden, they have not bloomed in the two years we have had them.  Your diurnal moth is a Whitelined Sphinx,
Hyles lineata, and one just buzzed us in the back garden and to others are at the front door where they were attracted to the porch light, a phenomenon that happens each spring.  The butterfly is one of the Ladies, either a Painted Lady or a West Coast Lady.

Painted Lady

Painted Lady

Thanks so much. I thought the one looked like a painted lady, except that the body looked big like a moth.  Is that common?

The body of the Painted Lady is obscured by the blossoms of the lilac and we cannot see it to compare it to typical Painted Lady bodies.


What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: found in joplin missouri
Location: joplin missouri
March 17, 2013 7:42 am
I found this bug at my house Curious of the species. It eats like a butterfly but is very bee like.
Signature: derek Allphin

Bumblebee Moth

Bumblebee Moth

Dear Derek,
This is one of the diurnal Sphinx Moths in the genus
Hemaris, and we believe it is the Snowberry Clearwing or Bumblebee Moth, Hemaris diffinis.  This is very early in the year for a sighting, and according to BugGuide, the earliest sighting from Missouri is April on the data page.  More information on the Bumblebee Moth can be found on the Sphingidae of the Americas website. 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination