So the winner of today’s photography challenge is the waved sphinx moth that was hanging out in the shed this weekend.
This is a member of the larger family of moths that are commonly known as sphinx moths, hawk moths, and hornworms—and there are almost 1500 species found throughout the world.
These moths have great camouflage—they are mostly brown, with both wavy lines and straight lines bisecting its wings. It’s unclear if the adults feed, unlike some of the others that have been mistaken for hummingbirds (from a distance).
I don’t think that the moth was happy being moved from it’s hiding spot—these moths are more nocturnal in nature, and it was rousted a good three hours or so before the sun went down. I do know that it did hang out on the side of the house for awhile before finding another area to doze in until the sun went down.
Depending on location, these moths may have either one or two broods a year. Since we’re in the southern part of their range, it is possible that there could be another brood before the end of October.
This may mean that if I pay attention and keep an eye out for them—I might be able to spot a caterpillar of the waved sphinx moth. Though it may be difficult, as I don’t think we have any ash, fringe, hawthorn, or oak trees in the neighborhood—though we might (I’m not the greatest at telling trees apart).
That could be something to keep me busy in the spring/fall—trying to identify the different trees in the area, that way I would have an idea of the insects that might be visiting them in the late spring/summer.
I’m pretty sure that the moth was only in the yard, because it had decided to try to snooze the day away in the shed before someone found it and decided to show it off. But it is a pretty looking insect, and I think I’ve seen them before on the trees earlier in the year (and definitely last year).