Fighter Jet Moth

Fighter Jet Moth - Photograph by Laura Lecce
Fighter Jet Moth – Photograph by Laura Lecce

I recently took a photo of this moth, plainly colored in tan, black and white. I found the geometric pattern on its wings quite strikingly symmetrical and streamlined that it reminded me of a fighter jet airplane. A very large and very beautiful winged creature.

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27 thoughts on “Fighter Jet Moth

  1. Hi Laura, great moth and photo! In case you’re interested and wondering, that is a member of family Sphingidae, known commonly as Sphinx moths or Hawk moths. They include the clearwing hummingbird moths which are really awesome if you’ve ever happened to see one of those (they look like a miniature hummingbird flitting and hovering flower to flower). The larvae also happen to be known as “hornworms” for the very conspicuous appendage on their posteriors; they’re often as striking as the adults.

    Best,
    Mike

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Mike! I usually like to include this kind of info in my posts, but with moths I had no idea where to even start! I’d love to check out the larvae, will have to google them. Great info, glad you stopped by 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My pleasure; I happen to know a little about insects so I’m happy to share what I do know. For insects, spiders and other arthropods in Canada and the US, bugguide.net is a great place for identifying insects, though there is a learning curve to using the site. The more I’ve learned, the easier I’ve found it.

        I think yours might be a Banded Sphinx, Eumorpha fasciatus. Looks very similar to this one:

        http://bugguide.net/node/view/227046/bgpage

        Looks like primarily a southeastern US species but records all the way up to NJ. Though, it’s not surprising to find very similar species among insects and spiders. As a disclaimer, that’s my best “educated” guess. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Amy, thanks for your comment, I love them too. There were a few other beautiful butterflies I saw but every time they landed they kept their wings together so you couldn’t see the pattern. I wasn’t very successful at getting a photo mid flight either. I was so happy that this one kept still 🙂

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    1. Hi Mike,
      michealmarlow also said the same thing, Hawk moth, so I think you’re probably right. I’m looking forward to googling it so I can see some of the varieties. Thanks for stopping by, have a great week!

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    2. If I google White lined hawk moth, I get lots of them that are very similar, but not exactly the same. Looks like they can all have different patterns in the lines on their wings. maybe just genetic variation in the species?

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  2. I looked a bit further and discovered a website which nominally shows both i.e.
    http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Eumorpha-fasciatus and
    http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Eumorpha-vitis
    So I then searched the web with their Latin names and the ‘images’ look more or less the same. So I’m not sure which one it is.
    To be absolutely sure I think you’d have to submit it to an expert !
    But either way, it’s a great picture !
    (I have this trouble all the time with birds and butterflies – they are so hard to identify from a picture!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the effort Mike! I agree its super hard to tell them apart, and the range is also the same. If you Google banded vs vine sphinx, you’ll see we aren’t the first to have this query… maybe the same moth got named twice 😉

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    1. Great photos! The hummingbird moth has such a chunky body, it must be a work out for it to stay still in the air while feeding. I’ve never seen one, I will have to keep an eye out for them!

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  3. Thanks and thanks for following my blog. The Hummingbird moth keeps its body perfectly still while feeding, but it’s still hard to catch on camera as it moves from flower to flower so quickly. They particularly like the petunias that we hang around our chalet, so try planting some of them or seek them out wherever you might travel. August is a good month to spot them in Central Europe. Good luck !

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