Sunday, August 24, 2008

Moth madness

Or, is there a lepidopterist in the house?

I'm doing today's post in two separate posts so the non-knitters can skip all the knitting stuff.

We have plants that attract hummingbirds during the day, and recently we have noticed a very large moth coming at night. I have been trying to identify it, with not much luck, so Keith grabbed the camera the other night to see if we could capture an image. This moth is freakin' huge! Not all of the images are very good - you try getting a giant moth to hold still while you take its picture. Click on an image to enlarge it, and if you know what this is, please let me know. I have narrowed it down to a couple of genera, but quite frankly, I don't remember which ones they are right now. Sphinx moth is the common name of one genus, if I'm remembering correctly. Also, if you look closely in a couple of pictures, you can see the proboscis coming out to suck nectar. This moth's eyes glow red in the beam of a flashlight. I have really enjoyed standing outside late at night to watch it.
ETA: We're pretty sure we have pictures of the Manduca sexta, also known as the Tomato Hornworm. As I've picked plenty of hornworms off my tomatoes over the years, this should be no surprise to me at all.

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