Currently viewing the category: "Hummingbird Moths, Sphinx Moths or Hawk Moths"
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Is this some type of Sphinx Moth?
Dear “What That Bug?”;
I found your link on the Web and I’m it’s still active. I’m trying to identify a moth I found on my lanai this morning (photo attached). It is up too near the ceiling for me to actually measure it, but it looks to be at least 5 inches long. I’m wondering if it might be some type of Sphinx moth. Can you tell me what it is? Thanks and regards,
Carolyn Plank
Vero Beach , FL

Hi Carol,
Your are correct. Your sphinx is a Gaudy Sphinx, a species found mainly in Florida and occasionally Texas in the U.S. but quite common in the Caribbean.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Question: Help! What is this bug?!
Dear Bugman,
Please help me identify this bug. I have searched all the pages on the internet for moths and cannot locate a picture that looks like this one. Thank you so much!
Julie

Hi Julie,
On our website, the Sphinx Moths, a large family, get their own pages separate from general moths. This is a White Lined Sphinx, Hyles lineata. It is one of the most common U.S. Sphinx Moths, and in desert areas the species go through cyclical population explosions. Because the California rains this season have been spread out rather than concentrated, there is lush native plant growth and we expect to continue to get reports of both the adult Striped Morning Sphinx moths and the caterpillars as well.

White Lined Sphinx Caterpillar
(03/26/2008) caterpillar picture attached
I saw this caterpillar in Anzo-Borrego Desert in southern California last week. Curious if you know what it is. Pictures attached.
paul

Hi Paul,
With the desert wildflowers being so spectacular this year, there is plenty of food for plant eaters like caterpillars. We expect to get numerous queries regarding your species, the White Lined Sphinx or Striped Morning Sphinx, Hyles lineata. The caterpillars of this species are highly variable and become quite numerous at times. They were eaten by Native Americans and still are eaten by some adventuresome modern Americans as well.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Question: Help! What is this bug?!
Dear Bugman,
Please help me identify this bug. I have searched all the pages on the internet for moths and cannot locate a picture that looks like this one. Thank you so much!
Julie

Hi Julie,
On our website, the Sphinx Moths, a large family, get their own pages separate from general moths. This is a White Lined Sphinx, Hyles lineata. It is one of the most common U.S. Sphinx Moths, and in desert areas the species go through cyclical population explosions.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Photo from Dominican Republic
This guy was so spectacular, about 5 inches long and happily stayed with us all day. Love your site and would love to know what type of moth this is. Thanks
Wendy

Hi Wendy,
Your moth is a Rustic Sphinx, Manduca rustica. According to Bill Oehlke, the Rustic Sphinx: “flies in warm temperate, subtropical, and tropical forests and second growth woodlands from Virginia to south Florida, west to Arkansas, Texas, southern New Mexico, Arizona, and southern California and Puerto Rico and Cuba, and then further south through Central America to Brazil : Mato Grosso (JvB), Para, Roraima; Bolivia and Uruguay.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

not sure
I found this trapped inside my pool enclosure last night – at first I thought it was a Vega Sphinx Moth, but in looking at this site ( http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species?l=3461 ) the under part of the wings don’t match.
Johanna van Daalen
Melbourne, FL

Hi Johanna,
Your beautiful moth is a Guady Sphinx. Do you always get a manicure before handling insects?

Daniel,
I try to keep my nails looking their best, you never know when a camera or a gaudy moth is going to be around! Thank you so much, love your website!
Johanna

Hi again Johanna,
Here at What’s That Bug? we both understand the importance of being camera ready as well. You are our kind of gal: not afraid to handle insects and looking good in the process.

ha! i saw your comment on the website about not being afraid to handle bugs – i work with raccoons and otters, bugs are nothing!!! (unless that bug’s a SPIDER!!!)
Johanna

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Striped Morning Spinx Moth?
Hi. I live in San Diego, and this morning it was almost as though we were under attack by moths. Everywhere. Like a scene from The Birds, all over town. I have a slight insect phobia, so it was just a little creepy. Most of them were much smaller than the one in the photo attached, and appeared to be of a different type, but were hovering above the flowering bushes and trees sucking the nectar. At any rate, there were some that were very hummingbird-like, and I think I was successful using your site to identify this little fellow (lady?) resting on my black-eyed susan vine. Is there a time of year for a sudden hatch-out? Where are they coming from, and what are they doing? Besides eating and mating, at any rate? And what damage do their caterpillar babies do? In my fantasy world they would eat the aphids and whitefliess that are plaguing my roses, but I suppose what they really eat are fuschias and black eyed susan vines, huh? Thanks,
Kel in San Diego

Hi Kel,
Your identification of a Striped Morning Sphinx or White Lined Sphinx, Hyles lineata, is correct. We expect a population explosion of the Striped Morning Sphinx and its caterpillar this year in Southern California because of our unseasonal rains and the plethora of desert vegetation. Our good friend and neighbor, Julian Donahue, a lepidopterist, just sent us the following fact list on Hyles lineata: “1. This is So. Cal’s most common hawk moth, and are especially common in the deserts, where hundreds of moths can come to a single light in one night. 2. In “good” desert years, the larvae can be so abundant that desert highways are slick with their crushed bodies. 3. In the desert, larvae mostly prefer evening primroses (Camissonia and Oenothera), which are also in the fuschsia family (Onagraceae)–demonstrating once again that moths are excellent botanists! Tuttle (2007, The Hawk Moths of North America) also reports that in the West the larvae also feed on members of the plant family Nyctaginaceae [e.g., Abronia (sand verbena) and Mirabilis (four o'clock)]. 4. Native Americans have harvested the larvae as food. 5. United States’ most widely distributed hawk moth, occuring in every state except Alaska, as far north as southern Canada, from Nova Scotia to British Columbia. 6. Pupation occurs in a loose cocoon of silk on or just below the surface of the ground. 7. Larvae have several color forms, ranging from green to black. 8. Two other related species in North America: the more widely distributed but much more northern Hyles gallii, which also occurs in Europe and feeds on similar hostplants, and Hyles euphorbiae, a native of Europe and Eurasia that has been introduced with only limited success to control pest species of spurge (Euphorbia species) in north central and northeastern U.S. and adjacent Canada. Julian”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination