Last night's blacklighting was not the busiest night for large moths, but it came close in terms of diversity. And in terms of docile, mellow bugs... wow. However, with large moths that are newly hatched, flight lessons take a little while and there were many, many collisions. For such graceful-when-sitting-still creatures, we were thwacked unceremoniously by directionally challenged beasts. It's a sensation that one doesn't quite get used to, especially when bopped in the head by what is expected to be a moth and is, instead, a huge grasshopper. Grasshopper diversity *is* picking up.
Introducing the oft-maligned Five-spotted Hawkmoth, Manduca quinquemaculata, eater of tomato plants. Lovely blue thorax spots.
Eight or so in attendance.
Our thirsty friend, the hummingbird mimic White-lined Sphinx, Hyles lineata.
Four or so in attendance.
From above, above. And below, below.
I wonder what the weight comparison is between this moth and a "real" hummingbird.
Now for the Western Poplar Sphinx, Pachysphinx occidentalis. Quite the show-stopper.
One for the night.
Huge, beautifully marked - much bolder and brighter in markings than previous sightings out here.
Also, very docile. Look at that face.
This gorgeous hulk of a moth ate plenty as a kid...erpillar... and I wish we had a better shot of the front of this beauty, but, there's really not too much to see.
Yes. We like.
[Edit, part two of the blacklighting session has been posted!]