Sphinx Moth

White-lined Sphinx Moth and Larkspur
2016
Moths tend to be pretty drab and boring compared to their relations, the more brightly-colored butterflies. However, there are a number of moths just as spectacular as a butterfly. Though the colors of the sphinx moth are typically not as stunning, they capture attention a different way. They look like hummingbirds with their wings beating so swiftly, darting about and hovering in front of flowers as they drink their nectar--because of which, Hyles lineata, the White-Lined Sphinx Moth, is often called the Hummingbird Moth.

The general way we're taught to tell the difference between moths and butterflies is that butterflies have thin antennae and moths thick, but there are exceptions, and the sphinx moth is one of them. Like most butterflies, the sphinx moth has thin antennae, but unlike most butterflies, they lack the club on the end of the antennae. Their thick, furry bodies are very typical of a moth, however.

Photo by Rachael Koppendrayer, August 2018

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