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

Subject: Large bug
Location: Mallorca, Spain
March 12, 2013 10:37 am
I saw this bug a few years ago in Mallorca. Being a complete novice, I have no idea what it is. It behaved sort of like a humming bird. Please help me out.
Signature: Claes

Hummingbird Hawkmoth

Hummingbird Hawkmoth

Dear Claes,
This is really a nice action photo of a Hummingbird Hawkmoth,
Macroglossum stellatarum.  According to the Sphingidae of the Western Palaearctic:  “Diurnal. In behaviour, this moth is exceptional amongst European Sphingidae: whilst preferring to fly in bright sunlight, it will also take wing at dawn, at dusk or at night; in rain, or on cool, dull days. Very hot weather tends to induce a state of torpidity in many, with activity then confined to the relative cool of the morning and late afternoon. Herrera (1992) found maximum activity occurring between 18.00 and 20.00 hours in southern Spain. Whatever the flight-time, this species is very strongly attracted to flowers yielding plentiful supplies of nectar, such as Jasminum, Buddleja, Nicotiana, Tulipa, Primula, Viola, Syringa, Verbena, Echium, Phlox and Stachys, hovering in front of and repeatedly probing each bloom before darting rapidly to the next. A great wanderer, being present right across Europe from the alpine tree-line to city centres, wherever nectar flowers may be found. Its powers of flight are amazing, and have been studied in detail by Heinig (1987). Apparently, this species also has a fine memory, as individuals return to the same flower-beds every day at about the same time (Pittaway, 1993). (See also Heinig (1981a, 1984).)
When not feeding, pairs in courtship can be seen dashing up and down around steep cliffs, buildings, or over selected stretches of open ground. Pairs in copula can occasionally be found in such locations, although they seldom stay together for more than an hour. Whilst in copula, unlike other hawkmoths, this species is still capable of flight in a manner similar to butterflies. After a further period of feeding, gravid females search for patches of Galium growing in sunny locations. While hovering, each patch is carefully examined, sprig by sprig, before a single ovum is placed amongst the flower-buds. Up to 200 ova may be deposited by each female, therefore egg-laying can take a considerable time.
M. stellatarum is unique among sphingids of the region in overwintering as an adult, although north of the Alps very few survive. With the onset of cooler weather, individuals can be seen examining caves, rocky crags, empty houses, holes in trees or sheds, before selecting a suitable place for hibernation. This state of torpidity is not absolute, however, for warm days in December and January may bring some out to feed.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Moth?
Location: Arcadia California
March 9, 2013 6:11 pm
Hi,
My name is Adrian and I found this moth outside of my front door. I was hoping you can offer more information about its species or meaning of its origin.
Thank you
Signature: What kind of moth

Whitelined Sphinx

Whitelined Sphinx

Dear Adrian,
Your moth is a Whitelined Sphinx or Striped Morning Sphinx,
Hyles lineata, and people often encounter the species the first time when it is discovered clinging to the wall near a light that has been left on all night long.  The Whitelined Sphinx is a wide ranging species that has been reported in all forty eight lower states.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Beautiful Green Moth
Location: Puerto Rico
February 22, 2013 11:26 am
Hi! Could this be a Pluto Sphinx Moth? Picture taken February 11, 2013.
Signature: ~AM

Xylophanes pluto

Xylophanes pluto

Dear AM,
The Pluto Sphinx,
Xylophanes pluto, that is pictured on the Sphingidae of the Americas website looks somewhat similar to your moth because it is in the same genus.  Your moth is Xylophanes chiron, and it is also pictured on the Sphingidae of the Americas website.

Thank you for your time and quick reply!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Acherontia lachesis?
Location: Campinas – SP Brazil
February 12, 2013 8:31 pm
This moth enters my house and starts to circle the light bulb, and get stuck on my clothes, his abdomen have a light orange coloration
Signature: Gabriel ajeje

Sphinx Moth

Hi Gabriel,
This is a Sphinx Moth in the same family as
Acherontia lachesis, but it is a different species.  Acherontia lachesis is a member of an Old World genus commonly called the Death’s Head Sphinx and it is not native to Brazil.  It is a much larger moth than your specimen.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Which moth is this?
Location: Boca Tapada, Costa Rica
January 26, 2013 9:22 am
Dear sir,
I found this moth in Costa Rica a few weeks a go, in Boca Tapada, in a lagoon, on a brench. What is it and is it common or rare? Thank you very much in advance !!!!
Signature: M. Van Schaik

Banded Sphinx

Dear M. Van Schaik,
This is a Banded Sphinx Moth,
Eumorpha fasciatus.  It is a wide ranging species that can be found in North America as well as in Argentina.  See the Sphingidae of the Americas for additional information.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: moth found in south africa
Location: South Africa
January 20, 2013 12:37 pm
I found this moth in my house in south africa and friends have different opinions of what it is, can you maybe help?
Signature: Michelle

Cape Hawkmoth

Hi Michelle,
This is a Sphinx Moth or Hawkmoth in the family Sphingidae, and we thought we would have an easy time with an identification when we found the BioDiversity Explorer page on Sphingidae from South Africa, but alas, there was no matching thumbnail.  We dug a bit deeper into the site and found images of mounted specimens of
Theretra capensis that seemed like a good match.  We found a photo of a living specimen on African Moths and the common name Cape Hawk was provided.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination