Subject: White-Lined Sphinx at Night
Location: Naperville, IL
September 14, 2013 7:17 pm
I’ve never seen one of these beautiful moths until a few evenings ago. Since then, I’ve seen them a number of times, feeding from buddleia, zinnias, and hibiscus trees, usually at dusk. And I can’t tell you how many friends saw them and mentioned them to me as well, wondering what they were. I had to use a flash because there was just no way to capture its colorful wings without it.
All the best to you!
Signature: Dori Eldridge
Your stunning photo has frozen the rapidly beating wings of this lovely Whitelined Sphinx. Upon watching them feed, it is easy to understand why they are often confused for hummingbirds. Because the caterpillars are able to feed on a large variety of plants, the Whitelined Sphinx is found in all 48 lower states as well as Canada, and it might be the most common Sphinx Moth in North America. Populations of Whitelined Sphinxes tend to rise and fall depending upon the year, and when conditions are ideal in the southwest, there are huge explosions in the populations of both the caterpillars and the adults. Zinnias are wonderful flowers to plant when you want to attract butterflies and other pollinating insects.
Thank you, Daniel! I agree with your statement about zinnias. I have seen more new species of pollinators this year all over my back yard where I planted lots of zinnias this past spring. And hummingbirds are also fans of them. Have a lovely weekend!