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

Subject:  ID a bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Orange County Southern CA
Date: 07/25/2021
Time: 03:00 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found this bug crawling in my lawn and couldn’t ID it. It’s about 2 inches long.
How you want your letter signed:  Reegs44

Carolina Sphinx newly emerged

Dear Reegs44,
We suspect you have a nearby garden where you have planted tomatoes in the past.  This is a newly eclosed Carolina Sphinx that began life as a Tobacco Hornworm feeding to the leaves of tomato and related plants, which then burrowed into the dirt to pupate, possibly last fall, only to emerge hours before you encountered it.  Its wings have not yet fully expanded and it is not yet able to fly.  We suspect it is now a fully realized imago of a Carolina Sphinx.

Subject:  Lime hawk moth sighting?
Geographic location of the bug:  New Hartford NY
Date: 06/30/2021
Time: 10:49 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found this moth resting on a trash can outside of a mall after a big storm this evening. I think it looks like a lime hawk moth though they are supposed to be just in the UK. What do you think?
How you want your letter signed:  Laura Broccoli

Virginia Creeper Sphinx

Dear Laura,
The Lime Hawkmoth is native to Europe, and though there has been at least one North American sighting, we do not believe the species has naturalized.  This is a native Virginia Creeper Sphinx.

Subject:  Moth question
Geographic location of the bug:  Orondo Wa
Date: 06/29/2021
Time: 01:19 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman :  Can help identify this creature
How you want your letter signed:  Gilbert

Western Poplar Sphinx

Dear Gilbert,
We believe this impressive Moth is a Western Poplar Sphinx,
Pachysphinx occidentalis, which is pictured on BugGuide. According to BugGuide:  “Larvae feed on leaves of cottonwoods, especially Populus freemonti and Populus sargentii, also willow (Salix spp.). Adults do not feed.”  According to Sphingidae of the United States of America:  “This is a large moth, forewings are between 51-71mm in length (2). The large scalloped forewings are light yellow-gray and brown with a white reniform spot. In the similar Pachysphinx modesta, the forewings tend to be a grayer color, and overall darker.”  Butterflies and Moths of North America lists a Spokane, Washington sighting.  Because of the timing of your submission as well as the impressiveness of the Western Poplar Sphinx, we have selected it as the Bug of the Month for July 2021.

Daniel,
Thanks for the quick response. It was a beautiful specimen and I enjoyed watching it for like 20 minutes or so that it was with us. Can you tell if it was male or female how does that even matter.
Thanks again

Hi again Gilbert,
Here is an image of mating Western Poplar Sphinxes.  The female is generally larger with a thicker body.  We believe your individual is a female but we would defer to an expert in the Sphingidae moths.

Subject:  What is this bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Eastern Pennsylvania
Date: 06/27/2021
Time: 07:15 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  What is this
How you want your letter signed:  Thank you

Virginia Creeper Sphinx

This is a Virginia Creeper Sphinx, Darapsa myron, and you can compare your individual to this BugGuide image. 

Subject:  Is this a Blinded Sphinx Moth?
Geographic location of the bug:  Western PA
Date: 06/05/2021
Time: 05:58 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi.  This guy has been hanging out on our garage for a couple days.  I think it is a Sphinx moth – specifically a Blinded Sphinx moth. Am I correct?
How you want your letter signed:  Thanks, Cheryl

Small Eyed Sphinx

Dear Cheryl,
This is a Small Eyed Sphinx, not a Blinded Sphinx.  The two moths are in the same genus, so they are closely related and share physical characteristics.

Subject:  Strange insect
Geographic location of the bug:  Columbus Ohio
Date: 06/25/2021
Time: 12:47 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found this insect on the wall of my front porch. I’ve done a Google image search but can’t find anything like it. Can you help me identify it?
How you want your letter signed:  Linda

Small Eyed Sphinx

Dear Linda,
This aerodynamic moth is a Small Eyed Sphinx,
Paonias myops.  Here is a posting from BugGuide.  According to Sphingidae of the United States of America:  ” Males and females of this species look identical, but differ in size slightly. Females tend to be a bit larger and heavier.”

Small Eyed Sphinx