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

moth ID
August 14, 2009
Mike again. I thought you’d like this pic. The larger moth is a sphinx, but what is her friend? They seemed to be a happy couple, but obviously of different species.
Mike
Edgewood, New Mexico, 7000′ pinion forest.

Five Spotted Hawkmoth and Nevada Tiger Moth, we believe

Five Spotted Hawkmoth and Nevada Tiger Moth, we believe

Hi Mike,
This photo of a Sphinx Moth and a Tiger Moth getting along is priceless.  The Tiger Moth is probably the Nevada Tiger Moth, Grammia nevadensis, and you may read about it on BugGuide.  Because of the angle of the photograph, the Sphinx may be difficult to get an exact ID from us and will probably require an expert, but it appears to be in the genus Manduca, probably the Five Spotted Hawkmoth, Manduca quinquemaculatus.  That may be researched on Bill Oehlke’s awesome website.

Yes, I positively ID’d the hawk moth as a five spot.  We have lot’s of them around here.
Mike

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Sphinx Moths
August 13, 2009
Hello there! First of all, I love your site!
I just wanted to share these pics of what I believe are a Virginia Creeper Sphinx and Rustic Sphinx that I found at the gas station early this morning. Thankfully I always keep at least one of my cameras with me and was able to take these photos. Especially since I’ve never seen a Rustic before. It was pretty big! I tried to pick it up for a size comparison, but it fluttered around in my hand and then flew away.
D. Ashley
Minden, Louisiana.

Virginia Creeper Sphinx

Virginia Creeper Sphinx

Dear D.,
Thanks for sending us your two wonderful photographs of correctly identified Sphinx Moths.  The Virginia Creeper Sphinx is Darapsa myron, and you can read more about it on Bill Oehlke’s excellent website.  The Rustic Sphinx is Manduca rustica and it can also be found on Bill Oehlke’s website.

Rustic Sphinx

Rustic Sphinx

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Fur covered looking moth
August 12, 2009
This moth stayed on our front porch for two days, left and came back the other night but left again. It is so interesting I posted it to Facebook and asked if anyone knew what it was. A friend suggested I try here. Any ideas?
Curious in Clearwater
Clearwater, FL

Tersa Sphinx

Tersa Sphinx

Dear Curious,
Your marvelously streamlined moth is a Tersa Sphinx, Xylophanes tersa.
We also just received and are about to post a photo of a Tersa Sphinx Caterpillar.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Sphinx moth
August 11, 2009
Dear bugman; I have been trying to get a photo of this moth for 4 days . I think it may be a Hummingbird moth (Hemaris thysbe). Today I decided to catch and cool it in the freezer for 3 minutes. When I took him out he wasn’t moving. I thought I killed him. I was dreading the thought of (UNNECESSARY CARNAGE) or worse yet, involuntary bugslauter. I put him (or her) in the sun hoping he might come around. I took over 30 photos, when he started to flutter, and dropped to the ground. I picked him up and put him back on the flower. he didn’t move for another 10 minutes. Then he just flew strait up, about ten feet and turned, and flew off.
I was browsing through the local library on Saturday, when I came across a book titled KAUFMAN Field Guide to Insects of North America. I’ve owned the Kaufman Birds of North America for many years now, and thought, if this book is half as good as the bird book it will be great. When I picked it up I saw the author was Eric Eaton. I started reading, and almost forgot to stop for lunch. The only problem now is they are going to want it back. Keep up the good work, and write that book!
Terry Sincheff
Mound, MN

Hummingbird Clearwing

Hummingbird Clearwing

Dear Terry,
We do not as yet have a tagged category for Involuntary BugSlaughter, but that would not be quite as serious a matter as our current Unnecessary Carnage tag.  We do not consider accidental deaths to be cause for tagging a letter as Unnecessary Carnage.  A recent example was the chilling to death of a Gold and Brown Rove Beetle.  Since your Hummingbird Clearwing, Hemaris thysbe, survived, this is all a moot point.  Your intention in chilling this specimen was to take photos and then to release the moth, as opposed to recent postings where the intention was to dispatch of a perceived threat.  We will state again that it has never been our intention to vilify readers who out of fear kill a benign creature that was perceived as a threat, but to educate our readership in the event of future encounters with frightening but harmless creatures.
With regards to the KAUFMAN Field Guide to Insects of North America, it sounds like after taking the library copy for a test drive, you may need to buy your own copy.  We are quite certain Eric Eaton would appreciate that.  Eric is highly entertaining in print and we are quite thankful that he contributes so much to What’s That Bug? when we need correction or clarification in our identifications.
You may read more about the Hummingbird Clearwing on Bill Oehlke’s wonderful website.

Hummingbird Clearwing

Hummingbird Clearwing

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

moth like black and white bug
August 8, 2009
My cat found this bug today and tried to bring it inside, I’ve looked all over the internet and can’t figure out what it is.
Patti K.
Phoenix, AZ

Northern Ash Sphinx

Northern Ash Sphinx

Hi Patti,
This is a Northern Ash Sphinx or Great Ash Sphinx, Sphinx chersis, and it is newly metamorphosed, which may be why you had difficulty identifying it.  The caterpillar pupates underground, and once it “hatches” it needs to dig to the surface.  It is vulnerable at that point, which is probably why your cat found it.  You can see more images and get more information on Bill Oehlke’s wonderful website.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Large moth
August 7, 2009
Hello,
I saw this big moth clinging to a cedar tree in my yard last June. It was about 4 inches long.
Phil Norton
Oshkosh

Waved Sphinx

Waved Sphinx

Hi PHil,
This is a Waved Sphinx, Ceratomia undulosa.  You may read about it on Bill Oehlke’s wonderful website.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination