Subject: Green moth
Location: Gilroy CA: Watsonville Road near Uvas Creek
January 17, 2015 3:11 pm
I rescued this green moth from our cat last night. I’ve never seen one like it. It was around 10 PM, high scattered clouds, and about 65° out.  My cat was chasing the green moth, which I was able to catch and release. I’ve never seen anything like it.
Signature:  Bob

Pacific Green Sphinx

Pacific Green Sphinx

Dear Bob,
This gorgeous moth is a Pacific Green Sphinx or Bear Sphinx,
 Proserpinus lucidus.  According to the Sphingidae of the Americas:  “adults fly as a single brood from late January to March and nectar at flowers. Moths can be spotted much earlier (mid December) in more southerly locations (San Diego, California; Mexico) when weather conditions are right. ”   Because you were kind enough to rescue this Pacific Green Sphinx from your cat, who we imagine was a bit miffed and missing out on a thrilling toy, we are tagging your submission with the Bug Humanitarian Award.

Pacific Green Sphinx

Pacific Green Sphinx

Hi Daniel,
Thanks—that was quick!  I just made a $25 donation to <> to show my appreciation.
Keep up the good work.
Bob Crane

Thanks so much for your generosity Bob.

You’re sure welcome.  I saw that you have a book published with some great reviews, so I ordered 2, one for my grandkids and one for me.  Quite a price range, from about $7 to $80!
Thanks to the Internet it was pretty easy to have my moth identified.  I took entomology in college, but I can’t imagine identifying the moth like we did in the olden days, trudging to the library, looking at numerous books, taking pictures, having the film developed….

Hi again Bob,
You are correct that I did write The Curious World of Bugs, and though it was well reviewed, it did not become a best seller, hence there was but a single printing.  I guess the high price means it is becoming collectable.  Perhaps there will be a second printing if there is a demand.  Digital imaging and cellular telephones that have the capablity of taking images and distributing images on the internet has changed the face of research.

Tagged with →  
Location: Gilroy, California

4 Responses to Pacific Green Sphinx

  1. Bob says:

    Encountering something very cool like this Pascific Green Sphinx is always a gift.

    • bugman says:

      While the Pacific Green Sphinx is not considered endangered, it is not that commonly encountered. According to the Butterflies and Moths of North America: “Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.” In our original response a posting, we mistakenly used an obsolete scientific name. The current accepted genus and species name is Proserpinus lucidus.

  2. Fran Vlahos-Rohm says:

    I have lived in Klamath County on the CA border for almost 9 years and I have seen some strange and interesting critters. I saw my first Jerusalem Cricket here, and a Toe Biter found its way into my pool’s leaf skimmer. I even had 17″ Tiger Salamanders breeding in my pond! (Not a bug, but still unexpected and pretty cool!) My Evening Primrose has long attracted Hummingbird Moths, but today I saw my first Pacific Green Sphinx moth sunning itself in my driveway. I managed to get a couple of photos, but they sure didn’t do justice to the intense greens, beautiful markings, and how fuzzy it was! I will bookmark your site as I am sure I will discover more cool bugs in the future! Thanks

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