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

beautiful green patterned moth
Mon, Jul 6, 2009 at 9:36 AM
Can you please tell me the name of this very large, very beautiful moth? I found it hanging on my house this morning. Its body is about 3 inches long.
Eleanor Coyne
North Attleboro, MA. 02760 USA

Pandora Sphinx

Pandora Sphinx

Hi Eleanor,
Your moth is a Pandora Sphinx, and it is the second example we are posting to our site today.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Lime Hawk Moth in TN
Tue, Jul 7, 2009 at 4:59 PM
We saw this strange moth land on our window screen. I hurried outside to take pictures and to show my husband. After snapping a few photos, we went back inside. About 2 minutes later, a Cardinal flew up and snatched the moth up. We went on your website to see what sort of moth this was, and we came across your PA Lime Hawk Moth post, and how we should contact you immediately. So, here goes!
Sarah and Keith Allen
Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Pandora Sphinx

Pandora Sphinx

Hi Sarah and Keith,
Your moth and another submission we received earlier today are both indigenous relatives of the Lime Hawk Moth.  They are Eumorpha pandorus, the Pandora Sphinx, which according to BugGuide, is found  in the “Eastern United States (Maine to Florida, west to Texas, north to Nebraska and Wisconsin) plus Ontario and Nova Scotia “

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Possible Lime Hawk introduction to NW Washington State
Sat, Jul 4, 2009 at 8:02 PM
Greetings
Early today my mother was in the back yard and discovered these motrhs in the midst of breeding. We took pictures and then she went back and captured one of them.We had never seen anything like it( and since they don’t seem to be indigenous , I know why…)
Dave Hinds
Samish Island ,Washingon

Mating One-Eyed Sphinxes

Mating One-Eyed Sphinxes

Hi Dave,
Despite the resemblance to the introduced Lime Hawk Moth we just posted, your mating One-Eyed Sphinxes, Smerinthus cerisyi, are in fact native to the U.S. and range in Washington state.  You can read more about this lovely moth on Bill Oehlke’s excellent website.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

what kind of moth is this please
Thu, Jul 2, 2009 at 1:48 PM
We had this moth at work 2 days ago sitting on the concrete most of the day and then hanging on the building for most of the night, then it was gone.
curious
northwest pa

Lime Hawk Moth

Lime Hawkmoth

Dear Curious,
This sure looks like a Lime Hawkmoth, Mimas tiliae, to us. The problem with this identification is that the Lime Hawkmoth is a European species and this sighting could indicate an accidental introduction. We are copying Bill Oehlke who does comprehensive species data on the family Sphingidae, as well as the United States Department of Agriculture new pest advisory group at npag@aphis.usda.gov because the introduction of a new species to an area outside of its typical range can have significant environmental consequences and it should be treated seriously. The ease with which new species can be introduced by humans to distant locations can have dire impacts on local indigenous populations. Thanks for your cooperation in this potentially seriously matter.

Confirmation of Identification
Sat, Jul 4, 2009 at 4:52 AM
Daniel,
I agree that your id of the western PA moth is M. tiliae, and that it does not belong there.
Bill Oehlke

Ed. Note:
Now that Bill Oehlke, and expert in Sphingidae, has established that this is in fact a Lime Hawkmoth, there are several additional questions raised. First there is the possibility that this is a hoax. Though we like to believe that our readership is ethical, the possibility always exists that someone out there has “gone rogue” and is playing a joke. Once we establish that that is not the case here, the next question is whether this is an isolated individual that somehow got introduced, or if it is part of a brood or the beginning of an actual, viable introduction. More sightings would be necessary to establish that. Since the climate of northwest Pennsylvania is not dissimilar to that of the UK, and since the food tree, Linden, is grown ornamentally in northeast Ohio, and probably also in northwest Pennsylvania, the possibility exists that a population of Lime Hawk Moths may become established and spread in North America. We hope our friends at the USDA are checking their email during the holiday weekend since we just received a request to notify them of any suspected introductions. If you see a Lime Hawkmoth in the eastern portion of North America, please contact us immediately and put the name Lime Hawkmoth in the subject line of your email. More importantly, please contact the USDA at
npag@aphis.usda.gov so the authorities will know of the sighting.

Update from Doug Yanega from the Entomology Research Museum at UC Riverside
Monday, July 13, 2009
Last Friday, while we were without a computer, Doug Yanega was kind enough to leave us a voice message regarding the Lime Hawk Moth sighting.  This is a paraphrase of the message he left:  The Lime Hawkmoth is already known from eastern canada so Pennsylvania is just the first time it has been sighted across the US border. Probably introduced carelessly or intentionally from someone has imported and was rearing Sphinx Moths from overseas.

Update from the USDA
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Hi again Daniel,
I just wanted you to know that we are still receiving emails concerning the Lime Hawk Moth and I’m enjoying how excited people are about this.
Can you post a short note that we at USDA need an actual specimen to submit it for official identification, not just a photo (although I have been enjoying the wonderful photos)? If someone is able to catch a specimen, they can email us at npag@aphis.usda.gov for the address to send it.
That would help us so much.
Stephanie Dubon
PS – have you squished all your Bagradas? I lost all my cucumbers to aphids this year :( little buggers!

UPDATE: New Pest Advisory Group – Insects new to the United States
September 15, 2009
Hi Daniel,
I am once again hoping you can do one last update to the Mimas tiliae posting on your website (the one where it was found in Pennsylvania). I have finally been able to get ahold of someone in USDA that told me the official procedure:
If you have found a specimen (dead or still alive, any life stage, must be a specimen, not photos) the first step is to take the specimen to your state’s land grant university entomology department, cooperative extension office, or the state’s department of agriculture, who will then forward it to the appropriate authorities.
Can you please add this to your website? We are getting so many photos, but no one has found a specimen and now we know what the official procedure is if some are found.
Thanks so much and keep up the good work!
Stephanie M. Dubón
Coordinator and Pest Analyst
United States Department of Agriculture

UPDATE FROM APHIS: Procedure for alerting APHIS about new pests
July 8, 2010
Hi Daniel,
I think there has been some confusion  as to the correct procedure of alerting APHIS to potential invasive pests.  I know Stephanie Dubon asked you to contact her in the past, but she no longer works for the USDA.  Right now the best thing for people to do is to try and get the actual specimen and submit it to their state department of agriculture or to contact their county extension agency. They will then send the specimen on to APHIS.
Is it possible to remove Stephanie Dubon’s contact information from your website?  (See Lime Hawk Moth in PA postings).  We really appreciate the vigilance of everyone out there looking for potential invasive pests,  but unfortunately, there is very little we can do in our office.  Stephanie’s position was not filled and so there is no one to handle these kinds of emails anymore.  By far, the best thing to do, as I mentioned, is to go through the proper channels (i.e., through the state departments of agriculture and/or the county extension offices).
Thank you for your consideration.  We just don’t want people to become frustrated waiting for a response.
Sincerely,
The New Pest Advisory Group

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Moth/Butterfly/Insect???
Sun, Jun 28, 2009 at 9:24 AM
Found this in my garden today(28 th June 2009) on outside wall of the house.Unable to ascertain what it is- can you help
Hilary Ball
Lancashire UK

Elephant Hawk-Moth

Elephant Hawk-Moth

Hi Hilary,
This lovely moth goes by the unglamorous name of
Elephant Hawk-Moth, Deilephila elpenor. The UK Moths Website has this to say about the Elephant Hawk-Moth: “The English name of this moth is derived from the caterpillar’s fanciful resemblance to an elephant’s trunk.
The adults are attractively coloured pink and green affairs, with a streamlined appearance. They fly from May to July, visiting flowers such as honeysuckle ( Lonicera ) for nectar.
The larvae feed mainly on rosebay willowherb ( Epilobium angustifolium ), but also other plants as well, including bedstraw ( Galium ).
It is a common species in most of Britain, including Scotland, where it has increased its range in recent years.”  That range expansion might be a symptom of global warming.

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