This is so cool. It was really hard to catch a shot of this little (big) guy, but here's a fairly decent one. He has a wing span of about 3-4".
I believe its a Carolina Sphinx moth.
I'm not very good at this, but here's a try at enlarging and sharpening the pic.
You're doing very well!
They are such fabulous moths. Have you been sacrificing your tomatoes to their caterpillars, lol!
Great picture, Catherine!
Carolina, all right! Fantastic photo, too. Do you have any tomatoes, peppers, eggplant or even Datura or Brugmansia for the larvae of this species?
Thanks everyone. I have tomatoes and peppers, but sure haven't seen any larvae. Do they like anything else?
I've been looking over my tomatoes and haven't seen anything, unfortunately. I even have some milkweed growing in the garden and saw some poop........but it wasn't even monarchs, but rather tussock moth cats (I think??). Its been an upside down summer this year.
We saw this Carolina moth a few nights ago at dusk, and got all excited.......but then saw a bird chasing it! We were very happy to see it had survived. We were standing on the deck cheering for it........"GO!!!....RUN!!!!"
Some further reading shows me that the cats I'm seeing on the milkweed are Milkweed Tussock moths. That's why they're on the milkweed! Learn something new every day!
That is too cool!
Is its eyes really purple?
I'll bet that if you look closely, you'll find some tomato hornworm eggs on your tomatoes, if not the caterpillars. Tomatoworm pretty much mentioned the plants that are host to the Tomato Hornworm (aka Carolina hornworm).
Very cool! What a long proboscis that moth has!
I haven't seen any cats on my tomatoes for years, but if I did I would gladly sacrifice a tomato plant. To hear people talk on the tomato and other forums, you would think these caterpillars were the biggest scourge on tomatoes there is!
Very cool that you got to see one nectaring Catherine.
I've only found two tomato hornworms this year. I'm convinced that those things pop out of an egg that's the size of a golf ball because I never spot them until they're huge and have nearly eaten a whole plant. lol
I moved them from my Cherokee Purple tomato plants to my volunteer cherry tomatoes which I always have too many of. I don't mind if they eat those and I don't worry about them multiplying out of control. They just don't. They have too many enemies. I never find more than one or two every summer.
Actually, the Carolina is the tobacco hornworm. It is by far, the most common of any Manduca species.
I wish someone could get some real TOMATO hornworms, rear them, and send me live pupae for a start of breeding stock for them. Their cats are also pretty, even if not so pleasant to touch. Tobacco worms are baby skin soft. Tomato worms are tough and leathery.
I'm not sure I've seen a tobacco hornworm. Are they on tomatoes too? I've had a tomato hornworm hiss at me. Well.....its more of a click, when I would pick it up.
Still haven't had any this summer on my maters. Very unusual.
Might have something to do with the Pewee (bird) I have guarding my garden.