Subject: Cruise ship moth
Geographic location of the bug: At sea near Cozumel, Mexico
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
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.”