Subject: flightless moth in back yard
Location: Norfolk, VA
July 5, 2013 1:51 pm
Hello, just curious about this moth. It was about 8cm long and seemed to be walking across my back yard. I had a hard time identifying it so far and I hoped you could help!
Thanks for your time.
This is a recently eclosed Carolina Sphinx, Manduca sexta, and its wings haven’t expanded. The caterpillars feed on the leaves of tomato and other plants and they burrow underground to pupate. Upon emergence, they dig to the surface and find a safe place where their wings can expand and harden, enabling the moths to fly. You may read more about the Carolina Sphinx on the Sphingidae of the Americas website.
Wow! Thanks so much for responding, so cool!