White-lined Sphinx Moth

July 29, 2014 at 9:23 am (Butterflies, Colorado, Dinosaur National Monument, National Parks, Nature, Nature photography, Photography) (, , )

White-lined Sphinx Moth and thistle

White-lined Sphinx Moth and Thistle

This large and gorgeous moth is also known as the hummingbird moth.  There are several types of “hummingbird” or “hawk” moths – in Maine I photographed the Hummingbird Clearwing which is also a sphinx moth.

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You see the very long proboscis that allows them to hover near a flower to extract the nectar.  Several moths were feeding on the thistle plants alongside the road in Dinosaur National Monument, Colorado.

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The caterpillar resembles a tomato hornworm but rarely causes significant damage to garden plants.   These green larvae sometimes migrate en masse looking for suitable sandy soil to bury themselves in for the winter.  They pupate underground and then emerge to feed and reproduce.  They are certainly show-stoppers!

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Frontal assault

Frontal assault

 

Text and photographs copyrighted by Cindy McIntyre

Feel free to reblog or share

Website:  CindyMcIntyre.com

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Contact:  cindy at cindymcintyre.com

 

 

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2 Comments

  1. Pam Leonard said,

    That must be the cutest moth I’ve ever seen, great you captured it hovering like a hummingbird!

  2. Alli Farkas said,

    Who would have known a moth could be so colorful? And I can easily see why it gets called a “hummingbird” moth.

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