Friday, March 20, 2009

White-Lined Sphinx Moth

White-Lined Sphinx Moth, Hyles lineata. This moth is in the Sphingidae family of hovering moths which includes the famous moth that Darwin predicted as the pollinator for the long-nectaried Angraecum sesquipedale, Xanthopan morganii praedicta, with a proboscis over 7 inches long. The White-lined Sphinx, while not so prominently proboscis-ized as its long-nosed cousin, similarly hovers before flowers, typically white ones at night and colored ones during the day, for their nectary meal. They range from Canada through the midwest on down to Mexico and Central America. They fly quite quickly, zipping by as if they were hummingbirds. However, they are known to perch under the occasional porch light as this one did outside my front door. He barely flinched under the harsh lights of my Nikon strobe and stood stock still for over 12 pictures. He might still be there now!

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