Currently viewing the category: "Hummingbird Moths, Sphinx Moths or Hawk Moths"
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Subject: Moth-like crocodile-spider-bat looking creepy big thing
Location: HINTON NSW
December 13, 2015 1:27 am
Hi bug man. Any idea what this is? Discovered in the afternoon at Hinton NSW 12-12-15. Roughly 10 cms long.
Signature: Anthony S

Privet Hawkmoth

Privet Hawkmoth

Dear Anthony,
Thanks to the Butterfly House website, we have identified your Hawkmoth as
Psilogramma casuarinae, but no common name was provided.  We find the site’s description less than flattering for this pretty moth:  “The adult moth has long narrow forewings which are a boring grey colour, with a darker grey wavy pattern. The hindwings are dark grey, each with a pale area containing a wavy black line at the tornus. The abdomen is grey with a dark dorsal line. The wingspan is can be over 10 cms.”  We found the common name Australasian Privet Hawk Moth listed on FlickR and then verified that on the Australian Museum site where it states:  “When disturbed, male Privet Hawk Moths may make a hissing sound by rubbing together a specialised set of scales and spines at the end of the abdomen.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Cramer’s Sphinx still there at dawn
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
December 2, 2015

Cramer's Sphinx at dawn

Cramer’s Sphinx at dawn

Julian Donahue confirms Cramer’s Sphinx indentification
It is indeed Erinnyis crameri, an infrequent stray to SoCal from farther south (once bred on Vinca in Riverside–see my more extensive comments on WTB?).
Nice find, Daniel. The specimen should go to LACM, or at least be reported to iNaturalist AND the BAMONA website <http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/>, where the most recent Los Angeles County record is 1950!!
Julian

Subject:  This Moth made me late for a meeting.

Cramer's Sphinx with good Depth of Field

Cramer’s Sphinx at the porch light

Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
Temperature:  54º F.  Light wind out of the North and low humidity.
December 1, 2015 11:00 PM.
So, we know that this is a Sphinx Moth in the genus
ErinnyasSphingidae of the Americas lists four members of the genus in California, and this is definitely NOT an Ello Sphinx.  The pattern on the forewings looks most like Cramer’s Sphinx, Erinnyis crameri, to us.  We have contacted Bill Oehlke to verify the species.  We worked really hard tonight, reshooting three times to first get a decent exposure and then to maximize depth of field.  We are quite proud of capturing this challenging image.
We can’t help but to wonder if El Niño might play a part in this sighting.

Ventral View of female Cramer's Sphinx

Ventral View of female Cramer’s Sphinx

December 2, 2015 12:39 AM
We couldn’t resist getting a ventral view of what we speculate is a female Cramer’s Sphinx.  We wonder if El Niño conditions are causing this typically Central and South American species to migrate North in an effort to expand their range in the event of global warming.

Bill Oehlke confirms ID
HI Daniel,
Yes, I am pretty sure it is crameri. Only other close one is oenotrus, but I favour crameri.
Thanks for thinking of me.
Bill

According to Sphingidae of the Americas “lacks black dots on the underside of abdomen” and even though the image is not the greatest, we still have the moth to inspect as it is still on the screen door at 6:42 AM.  There are no dots on the underside of the abdomen.  We would think that if this individual traveled a great distance, it would look more tattered than the individual that visited us, which looks more like a newly eclosed specimen.  There are only two postings on BugGuide, and one is from San Diego this September.

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

We got some better images.

Possibly Cramer's Sphinx

Possibly Cramer’s Sphinx

Luckily it is cold out tonight, so the Sphinx did not mind that we rearranged its wings for some better images.  We have contacted Bill Oehlke and we eagerly await his input on the species.

Possibly Cramer's Sphinx

Possibly Cramer’s Sphinx

Subject:  Possibly Cramer’s Sphinx is new Mount Washington sighting
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
December 1, 2015 9:48 PM
When leaving the house today, we saw a large Sphinx Moth on the screen door, and at first we thought it was a Carolina Sphinx, but the markings on the wings were different and there were scalloped edges on the wings.  We determined on the Sphingidae of the Americas site that it is a member of the genus Ello, possibly a Cramer’s Sphinx.  We took some images with the old digital camera with a flash and a zoom lens, but alas, the camera must finally be failing as the card is not readable.  Undaunted, we pulled out a different camera, but the battery wasn’t charged and we managed to get one terribly underexposed image before the battery died.  The battery is charging and we hope to be able to get a better shot in an hour, and if luck is really with us, we can get an image in the morning by daylight.  The images on the corrupted card were taken with a flash, and we managed to move the upper wing to show the orange underwing with the black edge, and hopefully we will be able to duplicate that result when the battery charges.  This is the best we can offer at this time.

Ello Sphinx

Possibly Cramer’s Sphinx

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Found in Kauai
Location: Kauai Hawaii Poipu Beach
November 11, 2015 9:50 pm
Please indentify this beautiful bug.
Signature: Easy way

Oleander Hawkmoth

Oleander Hawkmoth

Dear Easy way,
This Oleander Hawkmoth is an introduced species in Hawaii that is able to survive because of the cultivation of oleander, its larval food plant.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Not a Hummingbird, Right?
Location:  Alabama
November 2, 2015
Greetings, Daniel.
My brother in Alabama just sent me these two photos with the simple query, “Not a hummingbird, right?”
The photos were taken with his cell phone this past weekend.
I replied saying correct, they are commonly known as hummingbird moths.
At first I assumed it was a White-Lined Sphinx Moth but when I shared some of my photos with him, I realized his moth has no white stripes.
I still think it is a sphinx moth, I just can’t pin the ID down any more accurately than that.
Is this something you can assist me with?

I had open-heart surgery this summer, so missed a lot of garden and bug time.
Surgery went well and I’m recovering nicely, getting back into the swing of things.
I do have some wonderful photos to share with you for your website if you choose to do so.
Should be an enjoyable winter project for me to send those along …

Blessings,
Wanda J. Kothlow

Diurnal Sphinx

Diurnal Sphinx

Dear Wanda,
This is a diurnal or crepuscular Sphinx Moth in the family Sphingidae, and members of this family are easily confused with hummingbirds.  There is one species,
Hemaris thysbe, that also goes by the common name of Hummingbird Moth, but that is not your species.  This is most assuredly NOT a Whitelined Sphinx.  Though there is not much detail in your brother’s image, we will nonetheless attempt to research its species tomorrow.

P.S.  Have a swift recovery.  We have had several close friends and family members that survived open heart surged and returned to greatly improved lives.  Feel free to send us your interesting images, but please use our standard submission form that can be accessed by clicking the Ask What’s That Bug? link on our site.

Greetings, Daniel!
Any further luck trying to find a more specific identification for this Sphinx Moth?
I re-attached the photos so you would not need to search for them …
Blessings,
Wanda

Hi again Wanda,
There is not enough detail in the images, because of the blurry representation of the rapidly moving wings.  Tell your brother to browse through the species listed as occurring in Alabama on the Sphingidae of the Americas site to see if he can find one that most resembles what he saw.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Moth / Bug Identification
Location: Kolkata, India
October 27, 2015 11:52 am
I saw this moth / bug in my house and it’s the FIRST time I have seen something like this in my country in all the 40 years I have lived. I’d be very grateful if you could identify it for me please.
Signature: Arjun

Hawkmoth

Hawkmoth

Dear Arjun,
This is a Hawkmoth in the family Sphingidae, and we are struck by its resemblance to North American members of the genus
Xylophanes, pictured on BugGuide, including the Tersa Sphinx.  We learned on the India Biodiversity Portal that the genus is represented in India.  Additional research leads us to believe this is Theretra alecto which is pictured on Sphingidae of the Western Palaearctic.  A photo of Theretra alecto was selected as the first place winning photo from National Moth Week 2014 according the the National Moth Week blog.  We will be post-dating your submission to go live on our site on November 1 while we are away from the office.

Hawkmoth

Hawkmoth

Hello Daniel,
Thank you so so much for identifying this amazing insect. I am attaching some resized originals of this bug on this email. Please feel free to use them on your website.
Thanks and regards,
ARJUN.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination