Currently viewing the category: "Hummingbird Moths, Sphinx Moths or Hawk Moths"

Subject:  Black and gold moth
Geographic location of the bug:  Aylmerton 2575 NSW Australia
Date: 10/22/2021
Time: 06:41 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello
How you want your letter signed:  Achim

Coprosma Hawk Moth

Dear Achim,
This is a Coprosma Hawkmoth,
Cizara ardeniae, and we identified on Butterfly House where it states:  “The moth itself is a handsome dark brown with a green sheen, with white edges to the wings and white bars across the wings and abdomen. It normally rests with these white bars aligned on each side to form a single stripe across the moth. This may give effective camouflage, misleading the eye to see the front and back as separate entities, neither of which is especially shaped like a moth. There is a black dot in each of the white areas at the base of each wing, which look perhaps like eyes, and with the double bar across the abdomen looking like a mouth, make the moth look like a mean monster.”

Coprosma Hawk Moth

Hello Daniel,
thank you so much for your speedy response. This type of moth is very pretty and it is rare these days to spot a little friend like that.
Keep up the good work.
Kind regards

Subject:  moth species
Geographic location of the bug:  Southwest Chicago Suburbs
Date: 10/23/2021
Time: 05:59 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi!
What kind of moth is this? Its eyes are fascinating.
How you want your letter signed:  Cathy Z.

Whitelined Sphinx

Dear Cathy,
This is a Whitelined Sphinx Moth, one of the widest ranging species in its family.  It is found throughout the continental United States.  Sphinx Moths have excellent eyesight.  They are often mistaken for hummingbirds when they take nectar from blossoms while hovering in place.  Here is a BugGuide image for comparison.

Subject:  What is this monstrosity
Geographic location of the bug:  Phoenix Arizona
Date: 10/02/2021
Time: 08:40 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I’m generally afraid of insects and i saw this thing and almost died of fright. Just want to know who my almost killer is. Btw thats almost the size of my palm…

How you want your letter signed:  Scared of bugs

Achemon Sphinx

Dear Scared of Bugs,
This Achemon Sphinx Moth is perfectly harmless.  It cannot sting nor bite.

Subject:  Moth?
Geographic location of the bug:  Oceanside, Ca.
Date: 09/03/2021
Time: 03:24 PM EDT
Subject:  Moth?
Geographic location of the bug:  Oceanside, Ca.
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello. My wife discovered this winged insect (moth) camouflaged on our gate. Have never seen one like this before. Can you identify please? Thanks much!
How you want your letter signed:  Flummoxed in Oceanside.

Sphinx Moth

Dear Flummoxed in Oceanside,
You are correct that this is a Moth, a Sphinx Moth in the family Sphingidae.  Your individual is tattered and possibly faded due to age or a tough life.  We were not able to pinpoint an exact species of the individuals pictured on
iNaturalist, but we will give it more scrutiny later in the day.  Meanwhile perhaps one of our readers will recognize the species.

Subject:  Bee/moth???
Geographic location of the bug:  West Kootenay,B.C ,canada
Date: 08/23/2021
Time: 09:39 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Bugman, I found this fellow resting on my lilac bush. I posted a picture on facebook and a local farm page. They all say it looks like a hummingbird moth. I have seen a hummingbird moth and it didnt look like this. Your help is appreciated, thank you for your time.
How you want your letter signed: Brenda

Bumblebee Moth

Dear Brenda,
The folks who thought this was a Hummingbird Moth
Hemaris thysbe, recognized that this is a member of the same genus. Hemaris.  Your moth is Hemaris thetis.  According to Pacific Northwest Moths:  “Hemaris thetis is a medium-sized, day-flying sphinx moth (FW length 17 mm) with clear wings that resembles a bumblebee. The forewings are long and very narrow for the size of the moth and the hindwings are quite small” and “Adults fly during the day and are bumblebee mimics.  They nectar and hover in front of flowers while feeding, unlike bumblebees which land on the flower.”  There are many images on Butterflies and Moths of North America.  According to CalScape it is called a Bumblebee Moth.  As an aside, many diurnal Sphinx Moths are called Hummingbird Moths.

Bumblebee Moth

Daniel,  Thank you very much.


Subject:  Lime Hawk moth?
Geographic location of the bug:  Knightdale NC
Date: 08/19/2021
Time: 07:55 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This is supposed to be indigenous to the UK.
How you want your letter signed:  Thanks

Pandorus Sphinx

You are correct that the Lime Hawkmoth is native to Europe, but this is not a Lime Hawkmoth.  It is a native Pandorus Sphinx.  Nonetheless, there is an introduced population of Lime Hawkmoths in North America, with many Canadian sightings.