what kind of moth is this?
June 4, 2011 7:10 am
We have had an emergence explosion here and have used your wonderful site to ID several of the moths we’ve found, but we are having trouble IDing this one. Can you help?
We are happy to hear our website has been so helpful. This is a Blinded Sphinx, Paonias excaecata, and you may verify that by scanning the photos on Bill Oehlke’s wonderful website, Sphingidae of the Americas. According to the site, “Males of the eye-spotted sphinxes rest with the posterior of the abdomen curved upwards” which indicates your specimen is a male. The species has the common name Blinded Sphinx because the eyespots on the underwings lack a black center or pupil, giving them the appearance of blind eyes. Eyespots on lower wings is a trait that has evolved in many Sphinx Moths and Giant Silkmoths and it is believed that the spots startle a predator into thinking the prey is actually a much larger creature that might harm the potential predator. When a predator, often a bird, begins to peck at a resting moth, they eyespots are suddenly revealed.
Thank you so much for the super quick response. My 6 year old daughter will be thrilled to know what it is.
Again, thank you!