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

Is this a sphinx moth?
Sat, Oct 11, 2008 at 5:19 PM
Found this beautiful moth resting underneath an orchid basket in my South Florida backyard. (Lake Worth) Its about 3-4 inches long.
It has a very long snout.
Julie
Lake Worth Florida

Fig Sphinx

Fig Sphinx

Hi Julie,
This is a Fig Sphinx, Pachylia ficus.  The larval food plants are in the genus Ficus, the figs, and the caterpillar has at least four distinct color morphs.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

What is happening with the Titan Sphinx?
What is happening with the Titan Sphinx?
I am submitting this as a follow-up to Gary D. Taylor’s wonderful posting of a Titan Sphinx (Aellopos titan) on September 19. I will try not to repeat too much of what I submitted as a comment to that posting (a great new feature on your site, by the way). The Titan Sphinx is considered a tropical species with a normal range extending from northern Argentina to the US Gulf states. Beyond that there are scattered reports of strays in many of the eastern states and southern portions of eastern Canada. I had the great good fortune of seeing this individual in early August of this year in the extreme southeast corner of Manitoba, probably quite close to Garry’s siting. It turns out it has been reported from Manitoba only once before, and that was sometime pre-1925! It makes me wonder, is the species becoming more common up here? Was this just an exceptional year with a few individuals straying northward on a strong south wind? Was it the same individual (pretty unlikely, but an interesting thought)? It would be very interesting to know what other sitings there were this year, and I will definitely be looking for it again next year. Regards.
Karl
Winnipeg, Canada

Titan Sphinx:  Tropical species in Canada!!!

Titan Sphinx: Tropical species in Canada!!!

Hi Karl,
Thanks for your letter and photo as well as the comment on the previous unusual Titan Sphinx sighting. We are thrilled to break this news to the entomological world. Here at What’s That Bug? we feel compelled to wax on the possibilities of these two unusual sightings. Global Warming perhaps? Transport by Hurricane Ike maybe? Could not some Titan Sphinxes have been picked up by Ike in the Caribbean and ridden the storm north in the relatively calm eye? We will be copying Bill Oehlke on this reply since he has compiled extensive species distribution data on the Sphingidae on his wonderful website. He may request permission to post your photo.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Titan Sphinx moth
While trying to find out what this moth was, we noticed you didn’t have a picture of it on your moth page. My students originally thought it was a hummingbird, then a bee, and finally a moth was suggested. My classes were able to identify it as a Titan Sphinx, Aellopos titan . This was found in the farthest northwest corner of Minnesota, which made it hard to identify because it is not normally here. This will be one of my biggest goals in life, being on your site. The only thing better would be to win a Nasty Reader Award. You have a great reference site.
Respectfully,
Gary D. Taylor
Science Teacher
Tri-County High School

Titan Sphinx

Titan Sphinx

Hi Gary,
Thank you so much for contributing a new species, the Titan Sphinx or White-Banded Day Sphinx, Aellopos titan, to our website. We are linking to Bill Oehlke’s fabulous website in order to provide more information on this species. We just transitioned to our new format this weekend, and we had numerous technical difficulties. We are happy we decided to sort through two day old mail to find post worthy letters. We seriously cannot imagine you ever achieving the infamy of our Nasty Reader Award since your correspondence is so gracious. We will be copying Bill Oehlke on this response as he will probably want to add this unusual sighting to his own website, and he will probably request permission to use your image as well. Bill Oehlke can also verify that the identification is correct.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Sphinx/Hawkmoth
I know you are incredibally busy. You previuosly helped me identify mournful sphinx moths that feed on flowers in my backyard and hover like hummingbirds. I have a new photo of a gaudy sphinx I’ve attached. Can you please tell me the difference between hawk moths and sphinx moths? Do all sphinx moths hover like hummingbirds? Are there hawk moths in Central Florida?Thanks,
Tobey Barr

Gaudy Sphinx Moth

Gaudy Sphinx Moth

Hi Tobey,
Thanks so much for your gorgeous photo of a Gaudy Sphinx. To answer your question, Sphinx Moths and Hawk Moths are the same, but it is a local preference. In the U.S. we say Sphinx and Brits call them Hawk Moths.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

mournful sphinx??
Central Florida, photo taken 9.3.08.
Is this a mournful sphinx?  It drinks from my pentas in the evening and hovers like a hummingbird.  I’ve always called them hummingbird hawk moths.  They come in pairs, and one is darker than the other.  They are 1-1.5" tip to tail. Thanks,
Tobey Barr

Hi Tobey,
In our opinion, you are correct with your identification of a Mournful Sphinx, Enyo lugubris. You can read more about this wide ranging Sphinx on Bill Oehlke’s website.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Oleander Hawk Moth
This moth was photographed in Oklahoma in August 2008.  From what I have read on your site, this is primarily a Mediterranean moth, except it has been found in Hawaii.  Is it unusual to be found in the center of the United States?
DANIEL B. BAUMANN, P.E.

Hi DANIEL,
While an Oleander Hawkmoth would be quite unusual in Oklahoma, your own Pandorus Sphinx, Eumorpha pandorus, is not so strange. You can read up on them on Bill Oehlke’s wonderful website.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination