Sphinx Moths meet Hello Kitty
Location: Southeastern Pennsylvania
July 26, 2011 4:32 pm
Late the other night (7/21/2011), here in Southeastern Pennsylvania, I was delighted to find four Sphinx Moths flying around my floodlight. My question is: Are they Manduca sexta (Carolina Sphinx) or Manduca quinquemaculata (Five-spotted Hawkmoth)? I just can’t tell! I sure did enjoy getting up close and personal with them, though–it was hard getting them off of me! I think they like Hello Kitty! Thanks so much for your help!
Signature: Diane Cameron, insect enthusiast
Your confusion over the identity of these Sphinx Moths is understandable. They are actually very pale Waved Sphinxes, Ceratomia undulosa, and they are in the same tribe, Sphingini, as the Carolina Sphinx and the Five Spotted Hawkmoth. Our favorite way to identify Sphinx Moths is to begin with the Sphingidae of the United States website, and then go to the state listing for Pennsylvania, and then click through the possibilities until we find a match. That is where we found the Waved Sphinx which is part of the Sphingidae of the Americas website.