Currently viewing the category: "Hummingbird Moths, Sphinx Moths or Hawk Moths"
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Subject: Can you identify this?
Location: South central Mississippi
August 18, 2014 8:46 pm
Found this on shop door in south central Mississippi in August.
Signature: Dawn

Pandorus Sphinx

Pandorus Sphinx

Hi Dawn,
This gorgeous moth is a Pandorus Sphinx.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: hummingbird moth
Location: Savage, MN (Scott County)
August 3, 2014 10:03 am
Can you tell me what kind of hummingbird moth this is? I’ve seen him two consecutive days in the wildflowers behind our house in Minnesota. Thanks for your help. (The second photo isn’t very clear but shows a bit more of his coloring.)
Signature: Sue H

Hummingbird Clearwing

Hummingbird Clearwing

Hi Sue,
You are correct that this is a Hummingbird Clearwing,
Hemaris thysbe, and it is a lovely image, with just enough wing movement to show it is beating the wings and to provide a feeling of movement while “freezing” the body.  See Sphingidae of the Americas for additional information on the Hummingbird Clearwing.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: bug or bee
Location: Belleville, PA in a flower garden
July 28, 2014 4:20 pm
This bug flies like a bee, it is all around my flowers and acts like a bee. I have never saw it until this year. It is yellow, then green, then black. Sometimes the yellow and green are reversed.
Signature: Deb

Hummingbird Clearwing

Hummingbird Clearwing

Dear Deb,
You need an extremely fast shutter speed, in excess of 1/1000 second, to freeze the wings of this Hummingbird
Clearwing, Hemaris thysbe, a diurnal species of Sphinx Moth or Hawkmoth in the family Sphingidae.  Another member of the genus, Hemaris diffinis, is smaller and is called the BumbleBee Moth.

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Subject: Large dark reddish bee with two white stripes on abdomen
Location: Queens, NY
July 27, 2014 8:59 am
I saw this guy enjoying the flowers at a Home Depot in Queens, NY. It was difficult for me to get this shot as it was extremely fast moving. I almost thought it was a small hummingbird out of the corner of my eye, When I looked closer I noticed it was an insect. I can’t find anything that looks like it on Google.
I uploaded a video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EkYvP9FqovQ
Signature: Jon

Nessus Sphinx

Nessus Sphinx

Dear Jon,
Even though your image is not critically sharp, there are enough features for us to determine that this Sphinx Moth in the family Sphingidae is a Nessus Sphinx,
Amphion floridensis.  Diurnal members of the family, which also include the Hummingbird Clearwing Moth and the Whitelined Spinx (which is actually more crepuscular than diurnal) are frequently mistaken for hummingbirds.  More information on the Nessus Sphinx is available on the Sphingidae of the Americas website.

That’s exciting. It’s funny I’ve lived on the east coast all my life and I’ve never seen one. :)
That’s definitely it. Thanks!

In order to observe Diurnal Sphinx Moths, you would need to be near proper habitat, including flowering plants that produce nectar.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Winged insect looks like tree bark
Location: Edom, Texas
July 26, 2014 11:34 am
Found this gorgeous creature outside my house today. Never seen anything like it.
Signature: Trixie in Texas

Blinded Sphinx

Blinded Sphinx

Dear Trixie,
This beautiful Blinded Sphinx,
Paonias excaecatus, gets its common name because the eyespots on the underwings, hidden in your image, do not appear to have pupils as there is no dark spot in the center.  You may read more about the Blinded Sphinx on the Sphingidae of the Americas website.

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Subject: Mystery Moth.
Location: Southern Ontario, Canada
July 26, 2014 10:48 am
Hello! Found this fairly large moth in my mothers backyard, hanging out on the fence, early evening. I have no idea what it is!
Signature: -Auraus

Laurel Sphinx

Laurel Sphinx

Dear Auraus,
This lovely moth is a Laurel Sphinx,
Sphinx kalmiae, and we identified it thanks to the comprehensive database on the Sphingidae of the Americas site where it states:  “In Canada, Sphinx kalmiae is single-brooded with most adults on the wing in June and July. In New Jersey and Connecticut and states of that latitiude, the Laurel Sphinx is double-brooded (late May-June flight and then again in July-August). There are as many as six broods in Louisiana with the first brood appearing in early to mid April.”  We are grateful that you were able to obtain an image that reveals the underwings.

Laurel Sphinx

Laurel Sphinx

Ah hah! Thank you so much for the identification. :) It was actually very happy to sit in my hand and pose for photos. Getting it to leave was the trick. ;)
-Danijela

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination