I’m a member of our local 4-H entomology club. Recently, while in Yucatan, Mexico, we captured this moth. Our leader says it’s probably in the hawk moth family but key out came to a dead-end there. He suggested we contact you to solve this mystery. Could you please help us identify this insect? (attaching didg. photo; windows asked if we wanted the photo made smaller so it would be sent quicker and be easier for our recipient to view. We chose to shrink it. Did we do the right thing?) Thank you,
Matt Watson & dad.
Hi Matt and Dad,
Your moth is one of the Hawk or Sphinx Moths, Family Sphingidae. More specifically it is the Ficus Sphinx, Pachylia ficus. It is a large moth that is very common in Central and South America where it’s amazingly large and beautiful caterpillar feeds on the leaves of Ficus Trees. Check out the caterpillar on our caterpillar page. The species is occasionally found in Texas and Florida.