Currently viewing the category: "Hummingbird Moths, Sphinx Moths or Hawk Moths"
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Help with moth ID
Hi Bugman,
I love this site! A friend took these photos of a large moth (with a long proboscis) while visiting in northern New Mexico recently. We would love to know what it is. Thanks for your help.
Kathleen in AZ

Hi Kathleen,
This is one of two closely related species, the Carolina Sphinx, Manduca sexta, or the Five Spotted Hawk Moth, Manduca quinquemaculata. Both have caterpillars that feed voraciously on the leaves of tomato plants and other related plants in the family Solanaceae. This is a wonderful action photo.

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I couldn’t find this moth on your site.
Hi Bugman,
Thanks for helping me with my bug questions. I found this moth hanging out on a curb at about 3am in Clarksville, Tennessee. This moth is about 3 inches or so long and its wings are colored like tree bark. I tried to scoot the moth onto my hand to take a picture, but the moth flew away, at least that’s what I thought. I noticed the moth heading towards some roses and I am proud to say I saw one of these giants feed for the first time. This moth’s proboscis has got to be at least 6 inches long and to see it "roll out" is amazing. Anyway, I couldn’t find this moth on your site, but I’m assuming it is some type of Sphynx. Anything you could tell me would be great. Thanks for your help, hard work and dedication,
Adam in Tennessee

Hi Adam,
We have several images of your species of moth, the Pink Spotted Hawkmoth, Agrius cingulata. Your action photo is quite spectacular. We are copying Bill Oehlke on this reponse since he is keeping records of the distribution of sphinx moths on his own awesome website.

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Hi, we found these bugs in the road, we think they are privit hawks but arent 100% We moved them out of the road because they would have been squashed and are now in our garden. We live in the south of england.

Hi Danny,
Your identification of the Privet Hawk-Moth, Sphinx ligustri, is correct.

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a picture for you
this is an unidentified sphinx that I suspect is in the genus Eumorpha but doesn’t match the plates in Covell. I photographed it around June 25 at my porch located at 3500 feet elevation in the blue ridge mountains of nw North Carolina. Any help with id would be greatly appreciated. Thanks,
J. M. Lynch

hi J.M.,
Your mysterious Sphinx most closely resembles the Achemon Sphinx, Eumorpha achemon, that ranges in North Carolina, but the markings don’t look correct. The camera angle of your photo is not ideal for exact identification as there is some perspective distortion that could be confusing both of us. We will be copying a true Sphingidae expert, Bill Oehlke, to see if he can provide a conclusive identification for both you and our site. If this is a new species in North Carolina, Bill will be most excited to include it in his comprehensive species distribution statistics. We eagerly await Bill Oehlke’s response.

Hi Daniel, The mysterious NC sphinx is Darapsa myron. Are you posting these images somewhere that I can visit them? I already have check lists for all of the states and provinces. Now I am trying to get to the county level. The data really is of no use to me unless I can ascertain the county.
Bill Oehlke

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zoomed in pic of moth
Hi bugman,
I wrote a week ago asking what kind of moth this was. I was looking at the pic I emailed in and noticed I couldn’t zoom in very much before it got blurry. So I cropped the original (I was too lazy to get my hard drive out and get the original the first time.) So here is a better zoom in of it. Like I said before we found it in our front yard on a rose bush, and we live in Turkey, close to Adana. I thought it was such a beautiful moth. Thanks,

Hi Steph,
Thanks for resending your photo of an Oleander Hawk Moth, Deilephila nerii or Daphnis nerii. This truly beautiful moth has an extensive range due to the use of its larval food plant, the Oleander, in landscaping. Bill Oehlke has the following information posted to his awesome website: “primarily associated with ‘the southern Mediterranean region, North Africa and the Middle East to Afghanistan (Ebert, 1969). Along the Mediterranean, there is no clear distinction between resident and migrant populations. Permanent populations exist in suitable locations in Sicily, Crete and Cyprus; however, over a number of favourable years further colonies may be established in those islands and also in southern Italy and southern Greece, all of which die out during a hard winter.’ and ‘Extra-limital range. From Afghanistan eastward to south-east Asia and the Philippines; as a migrant, it penetrates northwards into central Europe and central southern Asia. In 1974, this species was recorded as having established itself in Hawaii (Beardsley, 1979).’ “

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Bug Love picture from Georgia
I snapped a couple of pics of two moths mating yesterday. I really like this one: underneath this one isn’t as dynamic: topside I included links to the flickr photostream too. They look like Cerisy Sphinxes from what I saw on your site. Feel free to use this pictures if you’d like. Thanks for running a great site,
Casey Willis

Hi Casey,
Bill Oehlke’s website doesn’t list Cerisy’s Sphinx in Georgia. These are Blinded Sphinxes, Paonias excaecata. You can also read about the Blinded Sphinx on Bill Oehlke’s website.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination