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Help me identify this insect!

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Help me identify this insect!

Old 09-14-21, 01:27 PM
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Help me identify this insect!

I live in the metro Phoenix area. We have summer monsoons. Usually get an inch or two of rain. This summer we got at least double that amount. As a result we are seeing all sorts of insects out we wouldn't normally see. I am seeing this flying one I don't ever recall seeing. It was hard to get a picture of it because these things are fast and rarely stop. They seem to buzz and round, stop on a flower for a second or two and then take off. They almost fly like hummingbirds, as they are fast as hell and change directions very quickly. They have a tapered body, stripes and maybe 2 sets of wings? Hard to tell since they never stop. Anyway, if there are any insect experts, I would appreciate some guesses!

Old 09-14-21, 01:48 PM
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Re: Help me identify this insect!

Looks like a Hummingbird Moth but a little hard to tell from the photo. Your description though matches.
Old 09-14-21, 01:49 PM
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Re: Help me identify this insect!

Old 09-14-21, 01:49 PM
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Re: Help me identify this insect!

Might be a Sphinx moth
Old 09-14-21, 02:01 PM
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Re: Help me identify this insect!

Agent Starling, meet Mr. Acherontia styx...better known to his friends as the Death's-head moth.
Old 09-14-21, 02:38 PM
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Re: Help me identify this insect!

Thanks for pointing me in the right direction. I think this is it! It is a White-lined sphinx! Pictures of them online seem to match up. Thanks everyone!
Old 09-14-21, 03:38 PM
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Re: Help me identify this insect!

I saw a similar moth in the flowers by our front door last year. The way it moved and acted, I could have sworn it was a little hummingbird, until I noticed its antennae (plus I'm sure that a hummingbird would have taken off as soon as I got anywhere near it, the moth didn't seem to even notice me). It was fascinating to watch.
Old 09-14-21, 04:09 PM
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Re: Help me identify this insect!

Saw one of these bad boys in Grand Teton National Park several weeks ago and just this past Saturday saw another one just like it while hiking near the Potomac north of DC:



Each was at least four inches long and bigger around that one of my fingers. Apparently they eventually turn into one of these with a wingspan of up to seven inches:

Old 09-14-21, 04:18 PM
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Re: Help me identify this insect!

I donít know about the moth but I found the sniper in that photo.
Old 09-14-21, 11:11 PM
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Re: Help me identify this insect!

As long as it's not a Spotted Lantern Fly.

Apparently those things are kill on sight.



Last edited by tanman; 09-16-21 at 02:09 AM.
Old 09-15-21, 09:21 AM
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Re: Help me identify this insect!

Last week I was in line at the store when the woman behind me asked about the moth on the back of my shirt. I didn't know what she meant. She pulled it off my shirt and showed it to me. It was centered on my shirt, so no one else noticed it. It looked like a decoration. After she displayed it for other people around us I took it off her hands and took it outside. I left it in a shrub.

It's a Rustic Sphinx Moth.



Old 09-15-21, 01:31 PM
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Re: Help me identify this insect!




Old 09-16-21, 12:35 PM
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Re: Help me identify this insect!

It's a Hummingbird Hawk Moth.

The hummingbird hawk-moth is a species of hawk moth found across temperate regions of Eurasia. The species is named for its similarity to hummingbirds, as they feed on the nectar of tube-shaped flowers using their long proboscis while hovering in the air; this resemblance is an example of convergent evolution. Wikipedia

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