What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

what is the name of the moth?
i hope you can help, i found these two moths mating on my garden and would like to know the name of them. could you help?
Thank you,
Lee

Hi Lee,
This has to be one of the most ironic postings we have ever had. Your photo is of a pair of mating Modest Sphinxes, Pachysphinx modesta. There is some confusion regarding the names here though. Our old Holland book lists the common name of Pachysphinx modesta as the Big Poplar Sphinx and a variety, Pachysphinx modesta occidentalis as the Western Poplar Sphinx. The USGS website Moths of North America calls P. modesta the Modest Sphinx and P. occidenatalis as the Big Poplar Sphinx. Our Audubon guide lists P. modesta as the Big Poplar Sphinx. We are going with the government site since we like that you have caught the Modest Sphinxes mating. Caterpillars of both species feed on cottonwood, aspen, poplar and willow. Adults do not feed. P. modesta is an eastern species and P. occidentalis is western.

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2 Responses to Mating Poplar Sphinxes

  1. Joe says:

    Pretty sure these are the European version of poplar sphinx, most european moths mirror ours in many ways, but the European species has the two extra wings showing at rest, where as American modest and big polar sphinx’s dont. Very hard to tell the difference between ours and thiers as far as all spinx species are concerned, although I’m sure you are aware of it.

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