Subject: Big Moth?
Location: Visalia, Ca
May 21, 2017 12:07 am
This was flying around under my porch.. It is huge! What is it?
Signature: Thank you, Cynthia

Sphinx Moth Carnage

Dear Cynthia,
This Sphinx Moth, possibly a Carolina Sphinx, is no longer flying and it appears to be covered in an oily substance, perhaps an insecticide, and it appears quite dead, so we are tagging this submission as Unnecessary Carnage.  Porch lights frequently attract insects, and if this troubles you, just turn out the light.

It’s just water. . I wet it so it would be still for a picture with my cell phone.  No harm done.  Flew off 1/2 hour later. Thank you for letting me know what it is.  Wonder how it got to Ca.. Long Way from home. Attached is a pic of it in the house drying off before I let it back out in the night.. No worries, I’m not a murderer…as you see he is almost dry here…

Carolina Sphinx

Thanks for letting us know Cynthia.  We have removed the Unnecessary Carnage tag.  Dried out, we can see this is a Carolina Sphinx.  According to BugGuide, it is found in California.  The Caterpillars, known as Tobacco Hornworms, will feed on the leaves of tomato plants, though Jimsonweed is likely the native food plant.

Location: Visalia, California

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