sphinx-moth

2

Bug of the Day

OMG, look at this adorable hummingbird clearwing (Hemaris thysbe)! How is this squee-worthy beastie not a Pokemon??? I had it in the fridge yesterday so I could get a few good photographs, including the ones above. Today it was finally sunny out so I let it go outside. It sat on my fingers for a long time and then suddenly took off up into the sky like a little fighter jet.

@biomechabird It was only in the fridge for a few hours, til I could photograph it. I think it would last a few days in the fridge, depends on the species. Seems kind of cruel to keep them there that long though…

flickr

Giant Sphinx moth caterpillars, Pseudosphinx tetrio by Andreas Kay
Via Flickr:
from Ecuador: www.flickr.com/andreaskay/albums

When people tell me they think moths are gross and creepy but are perfectly alright with butterflies, I’m just like… what?

like, are we looking at the same bug here?

Cuz 

This

Is

Fucking

Amazing


Also, I really don’t think you’ve seen a butterfly up close before. Like, they’re really cool too, but moths are cute as fuck and butterflies are kinda creepy up close

Butterfly = 

Moth = 

There’s also just a lot of really cool facts about moths and butterflies, that make them both ten times cooler. 

7

9/9/16               Hornworms (larvae) -    Hawk Moths (adults)         

My man says they are a huge bug on my tomato , ME WHERE!

Has already eaten one tomato this size today was mad when it ate all the rest of the stalk and stood up, I had to sneek another one. So we will see in the morning how much it has ate!!!  Love the little hairy (claw) Feet!!!!

Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Bombycoidea (Silkworm, Sphinx, and Royal Moths)
Family Sphingidae (Sphinx Moths)
Other Common Names
Hawk Moths (adults)
Hornworms (larvae)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Sphingidae Latreille, 1802
Explanation of Names
Sphingidae from the type genus Sphinx (Linnaeus), for the Egyptian Sphinx.
Common name “Hornworm” due to the stiff pointy dorsal extension near the end of the abdomen of most larvae.
Numbers
There are 124 described species found in America north of Mexico.(1)
Size
Wingspan 28-175 mm.
Identification
Adult - medium to very large. Body very robust; abdomen usually tapering to a sharp point. Wings usually narrow; forewing sharp-pointed or with an irregular outer margin. No ocelli or tympanal organs. Proboscis usually well developed, extremely long in some species that feed in flowers with deep calyxes. Antennae gradually thicken along length, then become narrower toward tip.
Larva - naked except for a few scattered hairs. Most have a prominent dorsal horn at the tip of abdomen (thus the name, hornworms).
Range
Throughout North America.
Season
Year round in the south
Food
Larvae feed both day and night on many kinds of woody and herbaceous plants.
Adults feed on nectar and some are important pollinators.
Life Cycle
Usually pupate in soil, though some form loose cocoons among leaf litter.
Remarks
Some are active only at night, others at twilight or dawn, and some, such as the clearwings (e.g. genus Hemaris - not to be confused with the Clearwing family, Sesiidae) feed on flower nectar during the day.
Some larvae (hornworms) do serious damage to crop plants (e.g. tomato, tobacco, potato). Hornworms are often attacked by braconid wasp parasitoids.

Been a little while since I posted on the blog; fieldwork has been keeping me busy, but will try to keep uploading photos when I can. 

Walnut Sphinx moth (Amorpha jugulandis), Newark DE. July 2017. 

As caterpillars, walnut sphinx moths can be found at dusk on the edges of leaves of their particular host plant. Their bodies appear to be covered in little white granules, which are believed to afford them some protection against parasitic wasps. Although they prefer black walnut (Juglans nigra) and hickories in the Mid-Atlantic, they can be found feeding on many other species of hardwood trees, such as alder, birch,cherry, chestnut, hazel, and hop hornbeam. This caterpillar was reared on mockernut hickory (Cayra tomentosa). 

Multiple generations in the eastern US; two in the Mid-Atlantic. Adults emerge in late spring, with caterpillars to follow by May or June, and adults to appear again mid-Summer through August. Caterpillars overwinter as pupae.