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

Enormous moth almost the size of a toothpick
Sat, Jun 27, 2009 at 7:20 PM
I found this moth this morning as I was leaving my house. I could hardly believe it was a moth at all,it is by far the largest I have ever seen in my whole life. Very unusual to find one this large in Newfoundland but here it is. I am actually quite terrified of ALL moths in general but seeing as this one is the size of a small bird and I am not afraid of birds,I’m ok with it.
It never moved a muscle all day but has gone completely mad inside it’s glass tonight. I fully intend on releasing it in the AM when it is less agressive and hopefully asleep. I certainly wouldn’t want it turning on me. Anyway could you please tell me just what sort of moth this is? The toothpick in the picture is standard size so as to give you an idea of it’s size. I couldn’t get a shot of it’s underside as it is very angry with me and not likely to sit still for a photo op.
Any information you might have on it is appreciated.
Cyndie from Newfoundland
Conception Bay South,Newfoundland. Sitting on my driveway.

Laurel Sphinx

Laurel Sphinx

Hi Cyndie,
Using Bill Oehlke’s awesome website, we quickly identified your Sphinx Moth as a Laurel Sphinx, Sphinx kalmiae.  According to the site:  “Laurel Sphinx larvae feed primarily on lilac and  fringe.  … Larvae have also been found on privet. ”

Laurel Sphinx

Laurel Sphinx

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Hi Bugman, could you please help identify this moth we have taken a picture of ?
Sun, Jun 28, 2009 at 6:22 AM
We live in the North East of England and we found this guy clinging to the outer wall of my Dad’s house near the porch, he has been sitting there for a few days. We have been able to have a good look at him. He looks about 3 inches wide with a body length of 1.5 inches, with brown body colours rather like a tree, with a fine black outline. His wings have a crinkled appearance also, they don’t appear straight and his body is quite thick in appearance which narrows down and turns up at the end. He has identical white markings on his wings like small half moon shapes. He could be quite common I don’t know but we thought he looked kinda special and would appreciate your help to find out what species he is. Sorry if I am calling our moth a he as I don’t have any knowledge of bugs he could well be a she! Thank you for your site, my family and I have been looking at the range of different bug’s most of which we hav’nt ever come across before and they are a delight!
Jo North East England
Sunderland North East England

Poplar Hawk-Moth

Poplar Hawk-Moth

Hi Jo,
This is a Poplar Hawk-Moth, Laothoe populi.  According to the UK Moths website, it is:  ”
Probably the commonest of our hawk-moths, it has a strange attitude when at rest, with the hindwings held forward of the forewings, and the abdomen curved upwards at the rear.  If disturbed it can flash the hindwings, which have a contrasting rufous patch, normally hidden. Distributed commonly throughout most of Britain, the adults are on the wing from May to July, when it is a frequent visitor to light. The larvae feed on poplar ( Poplar ), aspen ( P. tremula ) and sallow ( Salix ). “

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Moth?
Fri, Jun 26, 2009 at 3:05 PM
Here is another bug that I am curious about. It was on the same wall as the Stag Beetle. I think it is quite stunning.
Chris Bullard
Wilson, NC

Virginia Creeper Sphinx

Virginia Creeper Sphinx

Hi Chris,
Your moth is a Virginia Creeper Sphinx or Grapevine Sphinx, Darapsa myron, and we identified it on Bill Oehlke’s fabulous website.  We are going to include Bill Oehlke in our response to you so he can add your sighting information to the data he is compiling on species distribution.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

It looks like a fighter plane
Sun, Jun 21, 2009 at 12:55 AM
this was spotted in london last night whilst filling my car with fuel. it looks like a mini stealth fighter plane with a thick scorpion like stinger on its back. it wasnt bothered by me being there and remained totally still.
very creepy, never seen anything as aggressive looking as this, it had defined camouflage patterns and a a streamlined look.
what is it, how rare is it? should i have put it in a jar and kept it?
David
London, England

Lime Hawk Moth

Lime Hawk Moth

Hi David,
This is a Lime Hawkmoth, Mimas tiliae, and according to the UKMoths Website it is:  “A reasonably common species in the southern half of Britain, it was most frequent in the London area, where there are still extensive tree-lined avenues. In recent years its distribution has spread northwards and is now regularly found well into North Yorkshire and beyond. ”  The larvae, which are known as Hornworms, feed on lime, alder, birch and elm tree leaves.  We do not believe you should have put it in a jar and kept it.  Though we are not opposed to keeping insects in jars long enough to observe them, we believe they are best when left in the wild.  We have had other members of the Sphinx or Hawk Moth family Sphingidae referred to as stealth bombers because of their appearance.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

gorgeous orange moth
Tue, Jun 9, 2009 at 5:19 PM
Dear Bugman,
This beauty appeared on the window screen of our maintenance facility this week (mid-June). It was there for the whole day, oblivious of photobugs (two-legged variety) and an occasional prod to determine whether it was alive (affirmative). The facility is the the midst of an oak-maple forest adjacent to an extensive salt marsh in northern Massachusetts. It was a warm sunny day. I was not able to make any headway in identification, probably because the wing pattern would be different when it opened its wings. I would love to know what it is — other than spectacular! Thanks.
Susan
Essex County, Massachusetts

Huckleberry Sphinx

Huckleberry Sphinx

Hi Susan,
First, we want to apologize  for our tardy response, but we were away for a week and the emails really piled up in our absence.  We are selecting letters to  read based on the subject line, and we are spending way more time than we should in trying to post as many older emails (while being mindful of newly arriving emails) as possible.  Sadly, many wonderful letters will go unanswered and many wonderful photos will go unposted because of time constraints.  With that said, we were thrilled to open your letter.  We believe this is a new species for our website, the Huckleberry Sphinx, Paonias astylus.  We quickly matched it to photos posted to Bill Oehlke’s fabulous website.  Bill Oehlke writes this:  “Huckleberry Sphinx females call in the night flying males with an airbourne pheromone emitted from a gland at the posterior of the abdomen. Both sexes rest with wings parallel to  the resting surface, with the upper lobes of the hindwings protruding above the forewings. The lower abdomen of the male arcs  upward toward the head, while the abdomen of the female hangs strait down on a vertical surface. ”  That would indicate that your specimen is a male due to the abdominal position.  Oehlke also indicates:  “Blueberry and huckleberry ( Vaccinium ), cherries ( Prunus ) and  willows ( Salix ) are the favorites as larval  foodplants. ”  We are going to include Bill Oehlke in our response to you as he may request permission to use your photos on his website and also because your sighting is north of what is typical for the Huckleberry Sphinx.

Huckleberry Sphinx

Huckleberry Sphinx

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Hummingbird moth?
Mon, Jun 15, 2009 at 9:16 PM
Hello bugman,
This moth flew into my friends sun room last week. It was pretty big, about the size of a hummingbird. It sounded like one, too. I was thinking it could be some type of hummingbird moth, but I’m not sure. Please let me know what type of bug this is. Thanks. :)
Danielle
Denver, Colorado

Nessus Sphinx

Nessus Sphinx

Hi Danielle,
Moths in the family Sphingidae are commonly referred to as Hawkmoths or Sphinxes, and Hummingbird Moths are a common name for the Clearwing diurnal moths in the tribe Dilophonotini, a subcategory of the Sphingidae.  Your moth is a Nessus Sphinx, Amphion floridensis, which despite its name, has a much greater range than just the state of Florida.  The Nessus Sphinx is also a diurnal species and it is frequently mistaken for a hummingbird, as are many of the Sphinxes, especially when they hover near flowers gathering nectar.  You may read more about the Nessus Sphinx on Bill Oehlke’s awesome website.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination