So large they took me by surprise!
I was working in my yard (NE Florida, Jacksonville area) yesterday and took a break to sit under the oak tree and saw these HUGE moths! I didn’t know what they were at first, so I took some pictures of them. My kids thought they were so cool, and they were very velvety soft (see closeup picture), so we are browsing your wonderful site trying to find out what they might be. I am trying to teach the kids that not all bugs are bad or dangerous. I’m highly allergic to bees, wasps, etc., and that in order to know what is what we have to learn about all bugs, and that some bugs are REALLY cool! (We’ve seen some praying mantis that are fun to watch.) At first I thought these were Sphinx moths, but their eyes and antennae are not as readily visible as most of the other photos you show. In fact, I couldn’t see any eyes! Also, they were resting with wings more perpendicular than parallel to the tree. I didn’t think to put a measuring tape near them for size, but the light bulb you see is a standard mini Christmas tree bulb, so maybe that will give a good enough reference point. Can you identify them, please? And you have my permission to post the pictures here, or at any friend’s site.
Thanks in advance-
What a great photo of Pine Devil Moths, Citheronia sepulcralis. The smaller moth is the male.