Wednesday, August 27, 2014

River-Running Sphinx Moth

The sphinx moth, also called a hawk moth or hummingbird moth, is huge, and its behavior closely mimics the hummingbird. It flies erratically, darting about so rapidly that it is often difficult to follow with the eye. Part of this, however, is that it feeds most commonly in the evening when light conditions begin to fade. They are big, often having as much as an 8-inch wingspan, and feed on flowers with a proboscis (feeding tube) that is anchored in its tail end and still extends as much 10-inches from its head, so certainly an amazing creature. They love pink, red and orange Four O-Clocks, a self-seeding and very, very prolific flower that will take over a flowerbed. They also love petunias and evening primrose.

There are many varieties.  This one is a pink-spotted sphinx moth
because of the pink spots on its lower wings to either side of its body.
This one visited Jean in the yard, so she brought it inside for me to see. Here it appears to be helping me find camping spots on a Mississippi River map.


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