Subject: What kind of moths are these?
Location: East Coulee Alberta
May 27, 2016 8:26 pm
These two were spotted east of Drumheller Alberta. Im curious what they are called.
Signature: Curious Kim
Dear Curious Kim,
We turned to the Sphingidae of the Americas site to verify the identity of your mating Sphinx Moths, and we have determined that they are mating Modest Sphinxes, Pachysphinx modesta, and we are amused at their seemingly immodest behavior. The species is also called the Poplar Sphinx, and it resembles a closely related species, Pachysphinx occidentalis, which has been “delisted” on the species from Alberta page of Sphingidae of the Americas. Interestingly the species page on Sphingidae of the Americas still states: “Pachysphinx occidentalis occidentalis, the Big Poplar Sphinx (Wing span: 5 1/8 – 5 7/8 inches (13 – 15 cm)), flies in riparian areas and suburbs from Alberta and North Dakota west to eastern Washington; south to Texas, Arizona, southern California, and Baja California Norte.” We will attempt to contact Bill Oehlke to see if he can provide a conclusive identification and perhaps indicate why the second species was “delisted.”