Currently viewing the category: "Hummingbird Moths, Sphinx Moths or Hawk Moths"
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mysterious beauty
I’m a librarian, and a patron submitted this photo to me and asked if I could identify it. I looked in books and online for hours and am still stumped. I’m not even sure if this is a moth or butterfly, and I can’t find a match anywhere. Any ideas? Thanks!

Hi Marco,
This is a Nessus Sphinx, Amphion floridensis, one of the sphinx moths in the family Sphingidae. It is a diurnal moth that flies until dusk. Where are you located?

Sorry – I just realized I left that out. This was taken this morning in the person’s backyard down here in Richmond, Texas (just outside of Houston). Thanks for the reply.

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Hi Bugman,
We photographed this moth today on the back porch of our house on Edwards Air Force Base California. We’re in the western Mojave desert. I’ve been unable to find a resource to identify it and was hoping you could help. Wingtip to wingtip was about 7 inches.
William and Sara Wilson
Edwards AFB, CA

Hi William and Sara,
This is the second image we received today of a Big Poplar Sphinx, Pachysphinx occidentalis, also known as the Western Poplar Sphinx, from California.

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really sharp waved sphinx(?) pics with better angle on head
We encountered what I think is a waved sphinx moth in Honolulu Hawaii the other day. I’ve attached a few pictures that are considerably sharper than the ones on your site – might help future people identify – especially the dark markings around the head, which are much more prominent when seen from the side. This was quite an experience for our 5-year old, who discovered it, and learned that it hisses (loudly) when irritated. Love your website! Aloha

Hi David,
We disagree with your identification. We believe this to be a Gray Privet Hawkmoth, Psilogramma menephron, which unlike the Waved Sphinx, can be found on the Hawaiian Islands. Check out Bill Oehlke’s site for additional information.

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Cool Moth
I live near Los Angeles, CA and saw this fella laying some eggs on a tire of a car the other day and thought I would take some pictures of it. It was sitting totally still and I wanted to see if I could get a closer look. I decided to see if I could get it to spread its wings a little so I took a little twig and touched its wing. To my surprise it spread its wings and started dancing about. It showed these really cool markings on it’s inner wing that looked like big eyes. The inner wings were brightly colored compared to the rest of its brown body. It was sure cool to see. I wanted to see what kind of moth it was and stumbled across your site. I am hoping you will be able answer my question. Best Regards,

Hi Mike,
We believe this is a One Eyed Sphinx, Smerinthus cerisyi, sometimes called Cerisy’s Sphinx. This species is found in California, but we thought it was limited to the more northern parts of the state. Your moth also resembles the Salicet Sphinx, Smerinthus saliceti, which is found in San Diego county and points south. Our money is on the former, the One Eyed Sphinx, but the two moths look remarkable similar. We may try to contact Bill Oehlke to see if he has a definitive answer.

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3-11-08 Hugh Moth
This creature flew onto our friends chair cushion and stayed all night until sunrise the next morning-approx 3" wide x 2" long or the center of a large mans palm. beautiful bight green. thanks,
Rockledge, Florida

Hi Kristi,
Your beautiful moth is a Gaudy Sphinx.

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I’m unsure if the photo attached to my last e-mail so here is another try. I’ve been googling, but having a hard time finding sites specific to the West Indies (specifically, Dominica) Thank you,
Jungle Bay Resort and Spa
Delices, Dominica

Hi Teal,
Your moth is a Mournful Sphinx, Enyo lugubris. According to Bill Oehlke’s site, this species can be found in the Southern U.S. as well as Central and South America, including the West Indies.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination