shades-of-green and cinnamon hawk moth
Location: central Missouri, USA
June 4, 2011 1:03 am
Dear Bugman, I found a very unusually colored (looks like military camo to me) this evening about 5pm, in 95 degree heat, residential area near urban ”wooded stream” and field, in central Missouri (Columbia). It doesn’t have enough detail to be Oleander’s, I don’t think, and not right for Pandora’s. the dorsal underwing is cinnamon and there is a thin cinnamon border line on the medial edge of the upper wing. Body about 1 1/4 inch long, resting windspan about 2 inches. the green on green bands are distinct but not blothed like the European Lime Hawkmoth. There is a small dusky ”dot” close to outer edge of upper wing, even with center of the body. I’m in cicada country in a major way so anything different is very interesting. This was resting on the wire bars of an outdoor dog kennel (just set up last night, had been inside dark storage shed before that). I got nervous about the possible Lime Hawkmoth occurrence from a PA site in 2007 posts online and so i have this moth in captivity-and of course it’s about midnight on a Friday, so i cannot take it to anyone for about 3 days. Any assistance is appreciated on id. I’m an endangered species ecologist, and general outdoor, wildlife, and wildflower enthusiast.
Signature: Thanks very much, Bree
We really appreciate your detailed email. This is a Virginia Creeper Sphinx, Darapsa myron, and we confirmed its identity on Bill Oehlke’s excellent Sphingidae of the Americas website. The data page on BugGuide indicates this is a wide ranging species and though it might not be common locally throughout its range, it does not appear to be endangered. We would urge you to release it so it can mate and perpetuate the species.
Thank you so much for a quick reply! I also notified and received a reply from Mr. Oehlke, and released this morning.
A very cool find.