Currently viewing the category: "Hummingbird Moths, Sphinx Moths or Hawk Moths"
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Green moth found in Japan
October 13, 2009
Hello!
My friend took a photo of this lovely moth in Tokyo, mid-October, near her apartment. I’ve been trying to find out exactly what it is, and I think it may be a Cephonodes species, but I’m unsure exactly what. If you could help give an exact ID that would be wonderful 🙂
choco
Tokyo, Japan

Cephonodes hyles

Cephonodes hyles

Hi choco,
Your photo is tiny and lacking in resolution, but we agree that this is a Cephonodes species, probably Cephonodes hylas.  We found a photo quickly by doing a web search of Sphingidae Japan, and then double checked on the Sphingidae of the Eastern Palaearctic website.  That site states:  “When the moth first emerges, which it usually does in the early morning, the hyaline portion of the wings is covered densely with greyish scales. These come off in a little cloud when the wings are rapidly vibrated before the first flight (Bell & Scott, 1937)” and we believe these scales are present in your specimen, indicating that it has newly metamorphosed and has not yet flown.  Diurnal Sphinghids are often called Hummingbird Moths in North America since they are frequently mistaken for hummingbirds, and we are taking creative license with that common name in our posting title.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

moth
October 7, 2009
please can you tell me what this moth is that we came across whilst we were on holiday in the southwest of france in september 2009? are they poisones and should i have handled it
pauline
south west france

Death's Head Hawkmoth

Death's Head Hawkmoth

Hi pauline,
Congratulations on your sighting of a Death’s Head Hawkmoth, Acherontia atropos, the moth that was featured in the book and movie Silence of the Lambs.  It is found in the Middle East and Mediterranean regions.  Though we have received several images of caterpillars in the past, we believe this is the first image we have received of an adult moth or imago.  Wikipedia has an extensive page on this fascinating species.  It is not poisonous.

Comment
The Caterpillar of this species [which I believe has a wide geographic range] is consumed. In Papua New Guinea.
Dave Gracer

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Moth?
September 24, 2009
This”moth” was labeled a stowaway. I’m uncertain if it came from the Denver Airport/airplane and stayed on my luggage till we got to Tulsa, Oklahoma or if it just greeted us in Tulsa when we were waiting for our ride. I was standing outside the Tulsa airport on August 2nd about midnight and looked down to see this LARGE moth looking thing (It was about the size of my iphone). He really liked my bag – Not wanting to touch its wings, I had a little trouble getting it off! I found a stick and kind of forced it to walk aboard and then I put him in a safe place. Can you tell me what kind it is?
Katie ~ Photographer
Probably Tulsa, Oklahoma

Pandora Sphinx

Pandora Sphinx

Hi Katie,
Bill Oehlke’s awesome website does not report the Pandora Sphinx, Eumorpha pandorus, from Colorado, but the species is found in Oklahoma, which is indicated as the western limit of the range.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

help identify moth found in California desert
September 15, 2009
This moth was seen flying west on the morning of Sept. 15th, 2009 near Mission Creek on the desert slopes east of the San Bernardino Mtns in Southern California at about 1800′ elev. I captured the attached image after it landed on a shrub.
I looked for it on several sites, but haven’t found a good match. It was about three inches in length.
B. Stein
at = 33.999 + long = -116.609

Rustic Sphinx

Rustic Sphinx

Dear B.,
Your moth is a Rustic Sphinx, Manduca rustica, and you can see Bill Oehlke’s excellent website for additional information.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Bumblebee/Butterfly in Pennsylvania
September 10, 2009
Hi, I saw this great bug outside of a butterfly exhibit in north central Pennsylvania this summer. The butterfly “experts” were not able to identify it. Any thoughts?
Thanks, Ben
North central Pennsylvania, Allenwood, Clyde Peeling’s Reptileland park

Hummingbird Clearwing Moth

Hummingbird Clearwing Moth

Hi Ben,
In defense of the butterfly experts, probably just like many of the workers in the giant hardware store chains, they are untrained students who work for a very low wage and are not given much on the job training or information.  When was the last time the person in the plumbing department was able to answer your question?  Your insect is a Hummingbird Clearwing Moth, Hemaris thysbe.  You can see more images and get additional information on Bill Oehlke’s excellent website.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

What kind of moth?
September 6, 2009
This unusual moth (to me, anyway!) has been resting on our covered patio during the daylight hours for several days. So far, I have not been able to find a close match…
Thanks!
Deb
Beaumont, Texas

Banded Sphinx we believe

Banded Sphinx we believe

Hi Deb,
There are two closely related moth species that both range in Texas and that look quite similar to one another.  We believe your moth is a Banded Sphinx, Eumorpha fasciatus and you can compare you moth to the images on Bill Oehlke’s awesome website.  The other species is the Vine Sphinx, Eumorpha vitis, and it can also be viewed on Bill Oehlke’s website.  According to Bill Oehlke, the two moths can be distinguished from one another in the following manner:  “The upperside of the moth [Eumorpha vitis] is dark pinkish brown. Each forewing has a lighter brown band along the costa, and sharp pinkish white bands and streaks. The hindwing has a pink patch on the inner margin, but lacks the pink along the outer margin, distinguishing it from fasciata.  Note the large brown ‘parallelogram between lowest of three striga upwards toward the transverse lines. In E. fasciatus this same area is very small, almost non-existent.
”  We are unsure of the parallelogram in question, hence our uncertainty as to the exact species.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination