Currently viewing the category: "Hummingbird Moths, Sphinx Moths or Hawk Moths"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Moth ID
Geographic location of the bug:  Long Beach, CA
Date: 04/10/2018
Time: 10:16 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello –
This moth has been visiting my front porch for the last 12 hours or so.  I haven’t been able to get a photo with wings open yet, but from what i can see the markings looks like a whitelined sphinx to me.  What do you think?
Thanks a lot for the help!
How you want your letter signed:  Laurie

Whitelined Sphinx

Dear Laurie,
This Whitelined Sphinx Moth or Striped Morning Sphinx is one of the most common, large, Southern California Moths and indications are that they are flying in Southern California now.  Just last evening Daniel watched a female ovipositing on the leaves of the sprouting primroses in the garden, and this morning there is one resting on the screen door.  This species tends to fly at dawn and dusk, and it is not unusual for an individual to rest for a day or more before taking flight again.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  White-lined Sphinx Moth, I Believe
Geographic location of the bug:  Coryell County, Texas
Date: 03/20/2018
Time: 01:09 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello again! Hope you are both well!
This beautiful moth was literally at my feet when I went to check on the creeping phlox, and hahahahaha the proboscis! A built-in bendy-straw, amazing. I don’t know if it was pink from nectar or a reflection from the pink phlox, and perhaps the yellow was from carrying some pollen as well, or perhaps it was its natural color (?).
The phlox is a huge hit with the pollinators, and I’m glad we planted so much of it. It’s an early bloomer here in  centralTexas. We saw pipevine swallowtails and black swallowtails nectaring at the phlox also this month. Lovely!
A reference I found: https://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Hyles-lineata
Thank you and best wishes!
How you want your letter signed:  Ellen

Whitelined Sphinx

Hi Ellen,
It is so nice to hear from you after so much time.  Your images of a Whitelined Sphinx, AKA Striped Morning Sphinx, are gorgeous.  The underwings of the Whitelined Sphinx are actually pink, and not the result of any reflections.  We have fond memories of the summer phlox in Mom’s garden in Ohio back in the 1960s, and all the butterflies and diurnal moths they attracted.

Whitelined Sphinx

Thank you so much for the quick response and kind words! My poorly-written wondering was about the very-long proboscis. In several photos the proboscis actually looked pink at the flower end. I was wondering if the nectar itself is pink and showing through the membrane of the proboscis. The proboscis also seems to carry pollen in some of my photos. I apologize for the confusion, which I’ll blame either on my over-use of the pronoun “it”, the fact that I tend to ramble on too much,  or perhaps the late hour, or my amusement at the beautiful but very large and pink (!) moth.  The Sphinx makes me smile! Hopefully it will return again today.
Very best wishes to you both!
Ellen

Whitelined Sphinx

Thanks for the clarification Ellen, but alas, we don’t know the answer to your questions.  We have now included a close-up crop of your image to show the proboscis.  Part of the effect is due to the lighting.  The Whitelined Sphinx often flies at dawn and dusk, and since, according to our friend lepidopterist Julian Donahue, Sphinx Moths are relatively long lived, you might see this individual over the next few weeks, and you might even see more.  Periodically, in arid environments, the Whitelined Sphinx populations explode.  We have found as many as eight or more individuals at our screen door some mornings.

What causes the color on the proboscis???

Eight moths at once, amazing! Your memories of phlox in the garden from when you were a child, wonderful. It’s a new plant for me, in the ground just two years, and it’s really taken off this year. I saw five different species of butterflies and moths visiting the phlox yesterday, including two individuals of the White-lined Sphinx moths, just beautiful. As always, I greatly appreciate our help and information. Thank you so very much. Best wishes!

Ellen
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Hummingbird Moth
Geographic location of the bug:  Alachua, Fl.
Date: 02/27/2018
Time: 11:14 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello.  We get many hummingbird moths each Spring as they love to nectar on our orange blossoms.  This is the first I’ve seen with white stripes.  Newly emerged, perhaps?  Impressive insect.  Fast little buggers.  Hard to photograph.
How you want your letter signed:  Elizabeth C.

Nessus Sphinx

Dear Elizabeth,
According to Sphingidae of the Americas, there are at least 65 species of Sphinx Moths, sometimes called Hummingbird Moths, reported from Flordia.  This is a Nessus Sphinx,
Amphion floridensis, and you can read more about the species on Sphingidae of the Americas.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Large Moth in Hanoi
Geographic location of the bug:  Hanoi, Vietnam
Date: 02/21/2018
Time: 08:37 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear bugman,
The moth in the uploaded image appeared
on the wall in our stairway this morning, 21 Feb 2018, in
Hanoi, Vietnam. I would like to know what it is. It is about
15cm from wingtip to wingtip as shown in the image. The
stairway is quite open and often lit through the night, so
it is easy for it to enter. It is winter here, just starting
to warm up to 20C after a colder period and quite humid with
occasional light rain.  Only last week I started
noticing butterflies again as the weather warmed.

Dear bugman,
A couple more photos of the same moth attached. I found it again on the floor by the wall when I returned in the evening. I thought it had died at first. I nudged it and saw it move so carefully eased it onto some card, with the intention of taking onto our balcony to give it an easier escape route and protect it from rats and people. I put some honey mixed with water onto the card in case that might help give it some energy. Then as I was trying to nudge it into something more sturdy to shelter it from the breeze, it took off.
Even if you can’t respond I hope you enjoy this beautiful moth.
Cheers
Paul

Mango Hawkmoth

Dear Paul,
Thanks for resending additional images.  We did not receive your first identification request which is very puzzling.  This is a Mango Hawkmoth,
Amplypterus panopus, and we identified it on the Sphingidae of the Eastern Palaearctic site where it states:  “The moth is sluggish during the daytime and allows itself to be handled, but at night it flies strongly. It has never been seen feeding at flowers, nor does it seem to come readily to light, though Mell states that it has frequently been caught at light in Java. It emerges from the pupa after dark, and pairs after midnight when in captivity.”  There are also images on iNaturalist.

Dear Daniel and the folks at whatsthatbug.com,
Many thanks for your informative response. Keep up the good work.
Paul

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Moth
Geographic location of the bug:  Temecula, CA
Date: 02/08/2018
Time: 09:29 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found in the kitchen this am! Please ID. Thank you.
How you want your letter signed:  Evelyn Wolfer

Whitelined Sphinx

Dear Evelyn,
This is a Whitelined Sphinx or Striped Morning Sphinx, probably the most common large Southern California moth.  We have found as many as eight attracted to our porch light on one night.  Earlier this week, we had our first Whitelined Sphinx of the year on the screen door early in the morning.

Wow – thank you for such a fast reply. You are the best!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Cruise ship moth
Geographic location of the bug:  At sea near Cozumel, Mexico
Date: 01/13/2018
Time: 10:34 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I was on a week long cruise that left Cape Canaveral, Florida traveling to Haiti, Jamaica, and Cozumel. It was our last day at sea and we were heading back towards Florida. We found this moth clinging to the top deck of the ship because it was a very windy day. We coaxed it into a cup and transported it to a lower level open atrium that had many live plants. We figured it could fly away when we got to port or stay and go on another vacation. What type of moth is this?  Was it originally from Florida taking a holiday or a new passenger from one of our destinations?
How you want your letter signed:  Brian Norton

Fig Sphinx

Dear Brian,
This is a Fig Sphinx, and it might have stowed away in Florida, or come aboard in Mexico or the Caribbean, or even because Sphinx Moths are such strong fliers, been picked up at sea.  According to Sphingidae of the Americas, the Fig Sphinx is found in South America to Argentina as well as ” through Central America: Panama to Mexico: Quintana Roo (BT) probalby [sic] throughout Mexico, and the West Indies to Florida, southern Texas, and southern Arizona.  It occasionally strays as far north as Indiana and Pennsylvania.”

 

Fig Sphinx

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination