Currently viewing the category: "Hummingbird Moths, Sphinx Moths or Hawk Moths"
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large unknown sphinx moth–smerinthus??
This beautiful-and very large moth appeared on the door of our camp in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in May 2007. Any ideas? Thanks!
Angie Lucas

Hi Angie,
This is a Modest Sphinx, Pachysphinx modesta.

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what’s this moth?
I have used your site many times to identify bugs around my house. I actually have something to submit this time. I skimmed over your moth pics and didn’t see another that resembled the one I found tonight hanging out under my porch light. I live in Memphis, TN and had to take a pic of this ginormous moth. It is the largest moth I have ever seen! Do you know what it is??? And why is that other little bug on him in the side view pic? Is that a leaf hopper?!?! Any info. you can give me would be appreciated! Thanks for your cool site. I love learning about all these interesting bugs! I went back outside to see if it was still there and I touched the wall right next to him with a stick and he spread his wings out. I didn’t know if this might help in identifying him or if you might prefer this pic to the other two in my previous email. I am not sure why it fascinates me so much! :) Thanks again!

Hi Mollie,
This is a Banded Sphinx, Eumorpha fasciatus. You could not locate a matching specimen on our General Moth pages because we have special pages for Sphinx Moths or Hawkmoths. The caterpillar feeds on a wide variety of plants including grape foilage. The tiny hopper visible on one of your photos is just an accidental interaction since both were attracted to lights.

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Sphinx Moths
Thanks so much for your wonderful website. A while ago you put up my picture of a robber fly eating a Japanese beetle on your site. My kids were thrilled. They check your site constantly. Last night and tonight these two moths visited some planters of impatiens on our patio. One looks like a white stripe sphinx, but I couldn’t figure out what the darker one is. If I had to, I’d guess a Nessus. Any idea? Thanks,
Baldwin, MD

Hi Andrew,
The sphinx in question is a Pawpaw Sphinx, Dolba hyloeus, a new species for our site. We identified it thanks to photos and information on Bill Oehlke’s excellent website.

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oleander hawk moth
We have lived in cyprus for over ten years and have never come across anything as colourful as this moth, (thanx to your site we found out what it was). Not only did we have this one in our kitchen, a week or so later we had another in the house, my questions being how long do they live for, and why are they called oleander hawk moths ? many thanks

Hi Stewart,
The caterpillers eat oleander leaves, hence the name. Adult moths probably live about six weeks.

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can you identify this bug?
I know you’re busy, but I found this attached to my house and found it very unusual and very frightening, due to it’s very large size. Thanks,
Ellen Miller
Delray Beach, FL

Hi Ellen,
Your beautiful moth is a Gaudy Sphinx.

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Moth ID
I love your site- I found this moth right outside my back door- sunning himself. By dark he was gone. Can you give me an ID on this guy? He was really BIG!! I was creeped out !
Don, in San Diego, CA

Hi Don,
This is very exciting. We believe this is the Salicet Sphinx, Smerinthus saliceti. Not only is it a new species for our site, it is a live specimen not represented on Bill Oehlke’s awesome website. His website states the Salicet Sphinx “flies in valleys and along streamsides from Mexico City north to west Texas, southern Arizona, and extreme southern California” and that the caterpillars feed on the leaves of willow and poplar. We are going to contact Bill Oehlke to confirm the identification and we hope you will give him permission to post your gorgeous, high quality photos and also provide him with additional information.

Salicet Sphinx Moth ID
Hi Daniel! Wow, this is exciting. I have lived here in Encinitas for 32 years and Never seen a Sphinx Moth like this one… I had a feeling it was unusual. I live very close to the San Elijo Lagoon and the Manchester Preserve (open natural space surrounding the lagoon). Because of this, I see a lot of cool birds, insects , racoons, etc. Thank you for identifying it for me and I am only too happy to share my photos with all. I see it is up on your website already!! I’m thrilled and very lucky to have had my Olympus 8MP camera at hand when I found him. Thanks again, keep up the great work on your website, and I look forward to hearing from Bill. …
Don Doerfler

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination