Nessus Sphinx Moth: All You Need to Know in a Nutshell

The Nessus Sphinx moth is an intriguing species that boasts unique characteristics. These fascinating insects make an essential addition to nature’s ecosystem. The adult moth has a furry appearance, with distinctive markings on its wings and abdomen that make it stand out among other moths.

One of the most striking features of a Nessus Sphinx is its stout body, accompanied by two whitish or pale yellow bands across its dark abdomen. This insect also has a fuzzy tuft at the tip of the abdomen. Its forewings display a brown color with dark bands, while the hindwings possess a reddish-orange middle band and a dark outer portion1. Their appearance is not only captivating but also enables them to blend in seamlessly with their environment.

Nessus Sphinx moths are part of the Sphingidae family, known for their large, heavy bodies and long, pointed abdomens2. They play a vital role as pollinators, often hovering near flowers and feeding on nectar through their impressive proboscis. As you learn more about these enigmatic creatures, you’ll likely grow to appreciate their unique beauty and the vital function they serve in our ecosystems.

Overview of Nessus Sphinx Moth

Classification and Scientific Name

The Nessus Sphinx moth, also known as Amphion floridensis, is a species of moth belonging to the Sphingidae family. The Sphingidae family consists of hawk moths or sphinx moths, which are known for their fast flight and aerobatic abilities.

Physical Characteristics

The Nessus Sphinx moth has several unique features that set it apart from other members of the Sphingidae family:

  • Stout, furry-looking body: Nessus Sphinx moths have a heavy-bodied appearance with their furry exteriors.
  • Distinct bands on the abdomen: Two whitish or pale yellow bands cross the otherwise dark abdomen, giving it a striking appearance.
  • Fuzzy tuft at the tip of the abdomen: This tuft of fur adds to the moth’s unique look.

Adult moths have brown forewings with dark bands across the base, middle, and outer portions. Their hindwings feature a reddish-orange middle band and a dark outer portion, with the outer part of the leading edge appearing yellowish source.

These physical attributes not only make the Nessus Sphinx moth visually striking but also contribute to its agility in flight.

Nessus Sphinx Moth Other Sphinx Moths
Body Stout, furry-looking body Typically heavy-bodied
Abdomen Bands Two whitish or pale yellow bands Varies
Tuft at Tip of Abdomen Fuzzy tuft Not commonly found
Forewing Color Brown with dark bands Various colors and patterns
Hindwing Color Reddish-orange middle band and dark outer portion Various colors and patterns

In comparison, other species of sphinx moths have a more diverse range of colors and patterns, with some moths even having angled or irregular margins on their forewings source.

Life Cycle and Habits

Eggs and Larvae

The Nessus Sphinx Moth begins its life as an egg laid on plants by the adult moth. These eggs hatch into caterpillars, also known as larvae. The caterpillars feed on the leaves of various plants, storing energy for their next stage of life.

  • Hatches from egg on plants
  • Feeds on leaves

Pupa and Adult Moth

Nessus Sphinx Moth caterpillars eventually form a pupa, or cocoon, in which they undergo metamorphosis. After a period of time, the pupa breaks open, revealing the adult moth.

Features of Adult Moth:

  • Stout, furry-looking bodies
  • 2 whitish or pale yellow bands across dark abdomen
  • Fuzzy tuft at the tip of abdomen
  • Brown forewings with dark bands
  • Reddish-orange hindwing band

Here’s a comparison of each stage of Nessus Sphinx Moth’s life cycle:

Stage Description
Egg Laid on plants by adult moth
Caterpillar Feeds on leaves, stores energy for growth
Pupa (Cocoon) Protects metamorphosing larva
Adult Moth Emerges from pupa, seeks mate and lays eggs

The life cycle of the Nessus Sphinx Moth is a fascinating example of growth and transformation in the insect world.

Habitat and Distribution

North American Range

The Nessus Sphinx moth can be found in various parts of North America, such as:

  • Canada
  • United States
  • Mexico

They are known to inhabit a wide range of geographical locations, including forests, parks, and wooded areas1.

Preferred Habitats

Nessus Sphinx moths prefer specific types of environments for their survival and growth, such as:

  • Forests: Dense tree cover provides the moth with protection from predators and suitable areas for laying eggs.
  • Parks: Urban parks with a mix of trees and flowers offer food sources and shelter for these moths.
  • Wooded Areas: The moth thrives in regions with plentiful vegetation, where they can easily find food and hide from predators.

To summarize, Nessus Sphinx moths are well-adapted to a variety of habitats, ranging from dense forests to urban parks, as long as they have access to food and shelter.

Feeding and Host Plants

Nectar Sources

Nessus Sphinx Moths primarily feed on nectar from flowers. Some common flowers they are attracted to are:

  • Phlox: These plants provide a sweet nectar source.
  • Lilacs: Their fragrant purple blooms are ideal for nectar-feeding moths.
  • Geraniums: These flowers offer easy access to nectar due to their open structure.

Caterpillar Food Plants

Nessus Sphinx caterpillars, like other caterpillars, need specific host plants for sustenance and growth. Their preferred host plants include:

  • Virginia Creeper: A common climbing vine that provides ample foliage.
  • Ampelopsis: Also known as porcelain vine, it offers caterpillars abundant leaves.
  • Grapevines: These plants are not only essential for wine production but also serve as an essential food source for Nessus Sphinx caterpillars.
Food Source Moth Caterpillar
Phlox
Lilacs
Geraniums
Virginia Creeper
Ampelopsis
Grapevines

Nessus Sphinx Moths and their caterpillars rely on these plant species to effectively feed and grow. Maintaining an ample supply of appropriate food sources will help in the survival and success of this unique insect species.

Predators and Defense Mechanisms

Natural Enemies

Nessus sphinx moths face a variety of predators in their environment. Some common threats are:

  • birds: various bird species hunt for the moths
  • assassin bugs: these insects are known to prey on moths
  • spiders: many spiders capture moths in their webs for food

Survival Tactics

In order to survive, the Nessus sphinx moth has developed several defense mechanisms:

  • Camouflage: their forewings display patterns that help them blend into their surroundings 1
  • Toxic food plants: as larvae, they feed on toxic plants, making them unappetizing to predators 1

These defense mechanisms provide an advantage when facing their natural enemies, allowing them to avoid detection and remain safe.

Here’s a comparison table to summarize their predators and defense mechanisms:

Predators Defense Mechanism
Birds Camouflage on moth wings
Assassin bugs Toxic plants as larval food source
Spiders Blending with surroundings

By understanding these predators and defense mechanisms, we can appreciate the incredible adaptations and survival strategies of the Nessus sphinx moth.

Pollination and Significance in Ecosystem

Significance of Nessus Sphinx Moth in Pollination

The Nessus Sphinx Moth belongs to the order Lepidoptera, which includes other sphinx moths. This moth plays a vital role in pollination by feeding on the nectar of various flowers. As it feeds, pollen gets transferred from one flower to another, aiding in plant reproduction. Examples of flowers pollinated by the Nessus Sphinx Moth include:

  • Flower 1
  • Flower 2
  • Flower 3

The Role of Sphinx Moths in the Environment

Sphinx moths, such as the Nessus Sphinx Moth, contribute significantly to the ecosystem in several ways:

  • Pollination: As mentioned earlier, they help in pollination by transferring pollen between flowers.
  • Food source: Sphinx moth caterpillars serve as a food source for various birds and other animals.

Here’s a comparison table of two sphinx moths, showing their essential characteristics:

Feature Nessus Sphinx Moth Other Sphinx Moth
Size Medium-sized Varies
Role in Pollination Significant Significant
Habitat Wide variety Wide variety
Active Period Nighttime Nighttime

In summary, the Nessus Sphinx Moth and other sphinx moths play a significant role in pollination within ecosystems, helping plants reproduce and serving as a food source for many animals.

Footnotes

  1. Nessus Sphinx Moth description 2 3 4

  2. Sphinx Moths (Hawk Moths) characteristics

Reader Emails

Over the years, our website, whatsthatbug.com has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about these insects. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.

Letter 1 – Nessus Sphinx

 

Hummingbird moth?
Mon, Jun 15, 2009 at 9:16 PM
Hello bugman,
This moth flew into my friends sun room last week. It was pretty big, about the size of a hummingbird. It sounded like one, too. I was thinking it could be some type of hummingbird moth, but I’m not sure. Please let me know what type of bug this is. Thanks. 🙂
Danielle
Denver, Colorado

Nessus Sphinx
Nessus Sphinx

Hi Danielle,
Moths in the family Sphingidae are commonly referred to as Hawkmoths or Sphinxes, and Hummingbird Moths are a common name for the Clearwing diurnal moths in the tribe Dilophonotini, a subcategory of the Sphingidae.  Your moth is a Nessus Sphinx, Amphion floridensis, which despite its name, has a much greater range than just the state of Florida.  The Nessus Sphinx is also a diurnal species and it is frequently mistaken for a hummingbird, as are many of the Sphinxes, especially when they hover near flowers gathering nectar.  You may read more about the Nessus Sphinx on Bill Oehlke’s awesome website.

Letter 2 – Nessus Sphinx

 

nessus sphinx range
Hello! I was outside tonight in my backyard, and my mom and I saw this crazy bug! At first we thought it was a hummingbird because we had never seen anything like it, but then we started taking pictures of it and saw that it wasn’t. I looked at your site and saw that it is a nessus sphinx, and I was wondering if they usually live down here. I saw the one sent in from outside Houston, TX, and I live outside of Houston too. Are they common down here?
Thanks!
Shelby

Hi Shelby,
The Nessus Sphinx, Amphion floridensis, ranges throughout the Eastern U.S. west to Texas and Colorado. For a detailed map of its range, check out this USGS site.

Letter 3 – Nessus Sphinx

 

hummingbird moth…
but i cant seem to find an exact match for it, can you help? this was taken outside of houston, texas on june 25, 2005….. thanks!
david gibson

Hi David,
Your Hummingbird Moth is most definitely a Nessus Sphinx, Amphion nessus. It is readily distinguised because of the two white horizontal bands on the abdomen as well as the tuft at the abdominal tip. It flies during the day on cloudy days and in the late afternoon. The caterpillar feeds on wild grape. We thought the other Hummingbird Moth image that arrived today was a Nessus Sphinx as well, but the markings were not as obvious as in your photo.

Letter 4 – Nessus Sphinx

 

Thank You!
I’ve was beginning to think no one knew what kind of Sphinx moth this is. Thank you. The time stamp on the photo says it was taken at 4:27 p.m.; it was actually taken at 3:27 p.m., March 6th. In order to get a clear photo I had to use the flash. Hence, the wings aren’t transparent as they are in other photos I’ve taken of this critter. The photo was taken 7 miles north of Lake Wales, Florida which is roughly in the center of the state. So the range is greater than previously thought to be.
Great website!
Joyce Gelnaw

Hi Joyce,
Thank you for the compliments. Your Sphinx Moth is not one of the Hummingbird Clearwings, but rather the Nessus Sphinx, Amphion floridensis, formerly Amphion nessus. It ranges from Canada to Florida and west to Texas. The moth commonly flies during the day. Its markings, including the stripes on the abdomen, are quite distinctive. You can get more information on the silkmoths.bizland site.

Letter 5 – Nessus Sphinx

 


It was so good to find your website with answers to what this little creature is. I couldn’t open up all the pictures of the spinx moths you featured but it gave me a good idea that it is indeed what I saw. Like others, I first thought this was a hummingbird because of its long tube that was sucking nectar and fast little wings. But, it looked more like a bumblebee and was only one inch in size. I live in NJ and saw this in June. Any chance you can confirm for me that this is a spinx moth?
Thanks. Linda G

Hi Linda,
It looks to me like a Nessus Sphinx, Amphion nessus. The indicating features are the small head, and plump body. Also the two white stripes on the abdomen and the tuft at the tip. According to Holland: “It ranges from Canada to Georgia and westward to Wyoming. It flies in the daytime on cloudy days and in the late afternoon before sunset. The caterpillar feeds on Ampelopsis and the wild grape.”

Letter 6 – Nessus Sphinx

 

Hummingbird Moth
When we first spotted this moth, we thought we were watching a baby hummingbird. I was curious about the legs and antennae and started doing some research. I still have not been able to locate a species that matches this one yet. Perhaps you can help identify. Moth was photographed feeding on creeping phlox in Granite Falls , North Carolina.
Thanks,
Greg Good

Dear Greg Good,
It looks to me like a Nessus Sphinx, Amphion nessus. The indicating features are the small head, and plump body. Also the two white stripes on the abdomen and the tuft at the tip. According to Holland: “It ranges from Canada to Georgia and westward to Wyoming. It flies in the daytime on cloudy days and in the late afternoon before sunset. The caterpillar feeds on Ampelopsis and the wild grape.”

Letter 7 – Nessus Sphinx

 

a non-clear winged hummingbird moth?
hi,
I have a lot of these in our flowers in Huntsville, AL and they seem to be very similar to clear winged hummingbird moths but they definitely do not have clear wings. Can you identify them for us? We have a lively family discussion going as to their identity. Thanks!!
larry

Hi Larry,
What wonderful images of the Nessus Sphinx, Amphion floridensis. Bill Oehlke does not list it in Alabama, but Alabama is contained withing the range of this moth.

Letter 8 – Nessus Sphinx

 

mysterious beauty
I’m a librarian, and a patron submitted this photo to me and asked if I could identify it. I looked in books and online for hours and am still stumped. I’m not even sure if this is a moth or butterfly, and I can’t find a match anywhere. Any ideas? Thanks!
Marco

Hi Marco,
This is a Nessus Sphinx, Amphion floridensis, one of the sphinx moths in the family Sphingidae. It is a diurnal moth that flies until dusk. Where are you located?

Sorry – I just realized I left that out. This was taken this morning in the person’s backyard down here in Richmond, Texas (just outside of Houston). Thanks for the reply.
Marco

Letter 9 – Nessus Sphinx

 

Nessus Sphinx, Amphion floridensis?
I was just given your site when trying to find the identity of this moth. I see from other shots that it appears to be a Nessus Sphinx – am I right, and is this unusual for northern illinois, as I’ve never seen one before in this area. Thanks, enjoyed you site very much – thought you might like the pictures….
Bill Gigliotti

hi Bill,
Your identification of the Nessus Sphinx is correct. Bill Oehlke’s website lists Illinois as withing the typical range.

Letter 10 – Nessus Sphinx

 

Nessus Sphinx Moth ?
Hi there,
I saw this little guy buzzing around my garden this morning until it landed on a dwarf spruce tree and stayed in the same spot for about 4 hours letting me take numerous pictures of him. Was he tired? I live 20 feet from the open water of Lake St. Clair, Michigan in New Baltimore, Michigan which is about 35 miles northeast of Detroit. I believe to be a Nessus Sphinx moth. I have attached some pictures. Can you confirm? Thanks.
Linda Schmitt

Hi Linda,
Your identification of the Nessus Sphinx, Amphion floridensis, is correct. The best place to identify sphinx moths is Bill Oehlke’s wonderful website.

Letter 11 – Nessus Sphinx

 

I think this is a Hummingbird Clearwing Moth?
Is that correct? It hovered on my lilac for a long time!
Patti Bell

Hi Patti,
We can see that your Nessus Sphinx, Amphion floridensis, is hovering around the lilacs in your lovely photo, but we would like to have known where your lilacs are planted. We know lilacs are currently blooming in Ohio and Massachusetts, so we are guessing you are further north. The Nessus Sphinx is not one of the Hummingbird Clearwings as its wings are brown and the white stripes and tufting on the abdomen are identification features. There are photos available on Bill Oehlke’s awesome website.

Letter 12 – Nessus Sphinx

 

Hummingbird flight and beak like creature
June 9, 2010
No larger than, but approximately 2″ long with 2 distinct bumble-bee yellow colored stripes on lower back near tail (these show up as white in the photo’s). Beak approximately 3/4″ long. Appears to have 8 legs. Hovering over flower heads with beak in center of Red Valerian flower. Never landing. Rapid, hummingbird-like flight and wing speed.
Wit’s End
Southwest corner of Mi. Town:Delton, Michigan

Nessus Sphinx

Dear Wit’s End,
The Nessus Sphinx, Amphion floridensis, that you have photographed is one of many diurnal moths in the family Sphingidae that are often confused for hummingbirds.  You can read more about the Nessus Sphinx on BugGuide.

Letter 13 – Nessus Sphinx

 

Clearwing moth
Location:  Brooklyn, NY
July 27, 2010 12:57 am
I am pretty sure this guy is a clearwing moth, the so-called hummingbird moth; he comes back to our garden every summer for this particular shade of pink dianthus–none other will do. I have gotten some pretty good bug shots of other things but this fella is hard to photograph, still, this one came out pretty decently. Just wanted to ask if you could confirm the type of moth, and to share these pix.
Buggy in Brooklyn

Nessus Sphinx

Dear Buggy in Brooklyn,
The Clearwing Moths in the genus Hemaris are diurnal moths often mistaken for hummingbirds, but taxonomically they are in a different tribe than your moth, the Nessus Sphinx,
Amphion floridensis, though both are in the same family, Sphingidae, the Sphinx Moths or HawkmothsYou can read more about the Nessus Sphinx on Bill Oehlke’s excellent website.  Your photo clearly shows the coiled proboscis even though the shutter speed was not fast enough to “freeze” the rapidly beating wings.

Letter 14 – Nessus Sphinx

 

Nessus Sphinx in Oklahoma?
Location:  Seminole, Oklahoma
August 25, 2010 9:12 pm
Ever since finding your site, I have been amazed by the pictures of the sphinx moths. I thought it would be so cool to see one, and being a bug kid and never seeing one around, I figured they weren’t native to Oklahoma. I was waiting on my family to get ready to go out to dinner, and saw all these insects on my oak outside so I grabbed my camera. There were butterflies, roaches, flesh flies and tons of horse flies all feasting on the sap (I’m guessing) on the side of my oak. As I was taking photos, along comes what I believe to be a Nessus Sphinx! The picture is not good… but maybe you can confirm from it for me? It was awesome! Possibly a dream come true… Thanks so much!
Amy Goodman

Nessus Sphinx

Hi Amy
Even with the lack of image clarity, the markings on the Nessus Sphinx make the identification easy.  The Nessus Sphinx is native to Oklahoma, as are numerous other Sphinx Moths.  Bill Oehlke’s excellent website has a list of Oklahoma sightings.

Letter 15 – Nessus Sphinx

 

Subject: The weirdest ”bee” I’ve ever seen!
Location: Denver Colorado USA
September 16, 2012 12:09 am
Just moved to CO a few months ago, and saw this interesting insect buzzing around in my backyard.
Heard about your site from some friends and hoping you can tell me what it is!
Thanks
Signature: Nas

Nessus Sphinx

Dear Nas,
What you have mistaken for a bee is actually a moth, a Sphinx Moth more specifically.  Many Sphinx Moths are diurnal and they are confused with bees or hummingbirds when they visit flowers.  Your moth is a Nessus Sphinx,
Amphion floridensis, and you may read more about it on the Sphingidae of the Americas website.

Letter 16 – Nessus Sphinx

 

Subject: A big sphinx moth takes the T
Location: Boston MA (Jamaica Plain)
June 17, 2014 4:31 pm
I saw this critter beating against a window at the Green St T station in Boston MA during the second week of June. It took a rest break on the sill and I got its picture from outside through the glass. About 1-1/4″ long and maybe 1-5/8″ wingspan. Very distinctive wing shape, 3 lobed abdomen and pencil thin white band, I’m pretty sure it’s some kind of sphinx but can’t find a web image that really matches. Thanks for any help with this one.
Signature: Louise O

Nessus Sphinx
Nessus Sphinx

Dear Louise,
Our favorite site for identifying Sphinx Moths, since you were correct with your family identification, is the Sphingidae of the Americas website which breaks sightings down by country and state.  According to the Sphingidae of the Americas Massachusetts page, the Nessus Sphinx,
Amphion floridensis, is a diurnal species.

Thanks so much for answering, I saw your vacation notice and thought it unlikely that you’d be able to get to this.  I did see a few images of Nessus on lline and thought it was quite close, but all of them had bold double abdominal bands. The link you gave me does in fact have several pix that show this variation with the pencil thin line, so thanks for sending me to the right place. It was a very dramatic sighting and a mystery no more.
Cheers,
Louise

Upon our return to the office, we have been trying to get to a few old requests that arrived in our absence each day.  Your email was chosen at random, hence the late response.

Letter 17 – Nessus Sphinx

 

Subject: Large dark reddish bee with two white stripes on abdomen
Location: Queens, NY
July 27, 2014 8:59 am
I saw this guy enjoying the flowers at a Home Depot in Queens, NY. It was difficult for me to get this shot as it was extremely fast moving. I almost thought it was a small hummingbird out of the corner of my eye, When I looked closer I noticed it was an insect. I can’t find anything that looks like it on Google.
I uploaded a video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EkYvP9FqovQ
Signature: Jon

Nessus Sphinx
Nessus Sphinx

Dear Jon,
Even though your image is not critically sharp, there are enough features for us to determine that this Sphinx Moth in the family Sphingidae is a Nessus Sphinx,
Amphion floridensis.  Diurnal members of the family, which also include the Hummingbird Clearwing Moth and the Whitelined Spinx (which is actually more crepuscular than diurnal) are frequently mistaken for hummingbirds.  More information on the Nessus Sphinx is available on the Sphingidae of the Americas website.

That’s exciting. It’s funny I’ve lived on the east coast all my life and I’ve never seen one. 🙂
That’s definitely it. Thanks!

In order to observe Diurnal Sphinx Moths, you would need to be near proper habitat, including flowering plants that produce nectar.

Letter 18 – Nessus Sphinx

 

Subject: unknown colorful moth in PA
Location: Berks County, Pennsylvania
May 16, 2015 11:59 am
Hello,
I have researched my Audobon guide and searched the internet but cannot find a positive ID on this pretty moth. Any ideas? Thank you!
Signature: Amy

Nessus Sphinx
Nessus Sphinx

Dear Amy,
Even though this particular species was not represented, you should have seen other members of the Sphinx Moth family Sphingidae in your Audubon Guide.  This is a Nessus Sphinx,
Amphion floridensis, and you can find additional information about this diurnal species on the Sphingidae of the Americas site.  Interestingly, when we tried to name your image file for our archives, we learned that another Amy submitted an image of a Nessus Sphinx in 2010.

Letter 19 – Nessus Sphinx from Quebec, Canada

 

Subject: Is this a four tooth mason wasp ?
Location: Montreal (Quebec, Canada)
June 4, 2016 7:56 pm
Hello M. Bugman,
I live in Montréal (Québec, Cananda), south east of the Olympic Stadium. My appartment is on the top floor of a three-story building. I have five hanging flower baskets around my front balcony. This afternoon (June 4, 2016) I picked up my camera to get a picture of what I was convinced was a hummingbird feeding in my hanging flower baskets. The “bird” did not stop flying, going from flower to flower, from one basket to another. It did not buzz like a bee or a wasp, the flight was silent. Looking more closely at the picture it appears to be an insect. After searching on the internet, I suspect it might be a four tooth mason wasp. So far it appears that this type of wasp has not been seen often north of southern Ontario. Despite the lack of clarity of the picture, can you identify this insect ? Thank you for your help.
Signature: Josee Desmeules

Nessus Sphinx
Nessus Sphinx

Dear Josee,
This is one of the diurnal Sphinx Moths in the family Sphingidae, and the species that fly during the day are frequently mistaken for hummingbirds, hence the common name Hummingbird Moth.  We believe your species is the Nessus Sphinx,
Amphion floridensis, which you can find profiled on the Sphingidae of the Americas site.

 

Letter 20 – Nessus Sphinx

 

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.

Letter 21 – Nessus Sphinx

 

Subject:  Strange Large Moth
Geographic location of the bug:  Whitehouse, Texas (Near Tyler)
Date: 06/04/2019
Time: 04:10 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This moth hangs around a flowering tree in our back yard along with lots of bumblebees. The blooms are blue and very fragrant. To us, it seems the moth’s coloration kind of memics a bumblebee perhaps as protection from predators.
How you want your letter signed:  Bob & Elaine Jackson

Nessus Sphinx

Dear Bob & Elaine,
This is a diurnal Sphinx Moth in the family Sphingidae, and many members of this family that fly during the day are confused with hummingbirds because of their method of hovering while feeding.  Your Moth is a Nessus Sphinx,
Amphion floridensis.  According to Sphingidae of the Americas:  ” The adult Nessus sphinx, which flies during the day and at dusk, has two bright yellow bands on the tufted abdomen.  At rest, dark red-brown upperwings hide the red-orange median band and yellow spot of the hindwings.”

 

Authors

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  • Bugman

    Bugman aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. whatsthatbug.com is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

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  • Piyushi Dhir

    Piyushi is a nature lover, blogger and traveler at heart. She lives in beautiful Canada with her family. Piyushi is an animal lover and loves to write about all creatures.

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3 thoughts on “Nessus Sphinx Moth: All You Need to Know in a Nutshell”

  1. Saw a Nessus Sphinx moth drinking from my petunias outside Cumberland Gap NH Park. No noise at all. Glad to know what it was, suspected a bee or hummingbird.

    Reply
  2. I saw my first Nessus Sphinx today. It was getting the wetness off the digs in a basket. It was about a inch long , with the two light yellow stripes on its lower body. This was in Bay Saint Louis , Mississippi ! Very cool !!

    Reply

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