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

Subject: Black mystery moth
Location: London, England
May 19, 2017 3:26 am
Seen in central London. At a distance first thought was a common black peppered moth, but up close it appeared just a bit too consistently glossy-black and its legs aren’t quite what I’d expect? Though granted my knowledge is minimal!
Signature: SJM

Poplar Hawkmoth

Dear SJM,
This impressive moth is a Poplar Hawkmoth,
Laothoe populi, and according to UK Moths:  “Wingspan 65-90 mm.  Probably the commonest of our hawk-moths, it has a strange attitude when at rest, with the hindwings held forward of the forewings, and the abdomen curved upwards at the rear. If disturbed it can flash the hindwings, which have a contrasting rufous patch, normally hidden.  Distributed commonly throughout most of Britain, the adults are on the wing from May to July, when it is a frequent visitor to light.  The larvae feed on poplar (Populus), aspen (P. tremula) and sallow (Salix).”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Moths
Location: Cedarpines park California
April 21, 2017 11:22 pm
It was nighttime it was on my house very beautiful
Signature: Tina McClellan

Whitelined Sphinx

Dear Tina,
Your report is the third posting we have created today of a Whitelined Sphinx sighting.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: White Lined Sphinx Moth?
Location: California
April 21, 2017 11:47 pm
I believe this is a White Lined sphinx, based on pictures I saw, but if there is a species that looks similar to the White Lined, I’d be curious to know what this really is. I also posted this a while back: https://www.whatsthatbug.com/2013/10/21/carolina-sphinx-11/ We used to get these Carolina sphinx moths for a little while before they seemed to stop coming around, and now we are seeing a few of these White Lined sphinx moths. (most likely what this is) Could it be possible that these White Lined sphinx ran the Carolina sphinx out of town?
Signature: Brittany

Whitelined Sphinx

Dear Brittany,
You are correct that this is a Whitelined Sphinx.  We doubt that it has displaced the Carolina Sphinx as the caterpillars have different food sources.  Caterpillars of the Carolina Sphinx, known as Tobacco Hornworms, feed on the leaves of tomato and related plants.  If no one is growing tomato plants near you, you will not have the adult moths nearby.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Huge moths
Location: Southern California Santa Monica area near ocean but no lakes or standing water
April 21, 2017 8:23 pm
I get these every now and then they can get very large. They usually land in or near my one light and expire there. Any idea what they are?
Signature: Paul

Whitelined Sphinx

Actually, I ended up digging it up myself. They are apparently some very common species called Sphynx White Stripe Moth or something to that effect. The record I saw says they get big and they are not kidding. You could easily mistake the larger ones for a small bird. Says also they are continent wide in North America but I’ve only ever seen them in Santa Monica. No need to spend your time looking it up but nice service you have.
Paul

Whitelined Sphinxes

Dear Paul,
We are happy to learn you were able to self-identify your Whitelined Sphinx Moths.  They are currently flying in Southern California.  We had four at our porch light in nearby Mount Washington in Los Angeles early this morning, and one day earlier in the week there were seven.  We suspect the wet winter allowed more plant growth to feed the caterpillars, hence more moths have developed and are currently in flight.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: moth
Location: Merced, Ca 95340
April 8, 2017 1:48 pm
Found this moth in Merced, CA, 95340 this morning clinging to a fence.
Signature: Tom Tanioka

Sphinx Moth: Smerinthus ophthalmica

Dear Tom,
This Sphinx Moth is in the genus
Smerinthus, and there are several similar looking members of the genus.  We believe your individual is Smerinthus ophthalmica because of your Central California location.  According to BugGuide:  “Smerinthus ophthalmica occurs from southern British Columbia and southern Alberta south to near the border with Mexico. It is replaced by S. cerisyi to the east and north, and S. saleceti in the southern-most Rocky Mountains and southern Arizona.”  According to the Sphingidae of the Americas site:  ” S. ophthalmica flies across southern British Columbia and southern Alberta into southwestern Saskatchewan.  In the United States it can be found in Washington, Oregon and northern and central California eastward into Idaho, western Montana, western Wyoming and northern Nevada and northern Utah.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Lost in Texas or native?
Location: SanAntonio, Texas
March 19, 2017 9:14 am
I think I’ve got the same moth here in San Antonio, Texas…but what I read doesn’t list Texas for it’s home area….
Signature: Katettt

Tersa Sphinx

Dear Katettt,
This Tersa Sphinx is a native species in Texas, based on the distribution map on BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination