IMAGES OF SMALL THINGS FROM THE BIGGEST COUNTY IN TEXAS #556 – White-lined Sphinx Hummingbird Moths

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There was a bevy of moths and butterflies around the yard yesterday. We had three of these hummingbird moths show up to feed on our lantana. They are a real challenge to photograph, as they are fast and they never hover in one place for too long.

I spent a peaceful two -three hours (how long is that in sphinx moth years?) capturing and watching them dart in fluid motion that certainly rivals the movement of hummingbirds. Hummingbirds at least perch for a breather every now and then. These guys appear to be in perpetual motion and you gotta love the pink and brown coloring –  two of my wife Susan’s favorite color combos.

“Sphinx Moth larvae change underground into adult moths, who then dig their way to the surface. Mating occurs shortly thereafter, with females laying as many as 1,000 eggs on the underside of food plants. Eggs hatch within a few days. In the Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts, there may be 2 broods, one in the Spring and another in the Summer. In the colder Great Basin Desert, only one brood is produced. Males and females die after they have completed their roles in the reproductive process.

Sphinx Moths emerge at dusk from their hiding places and begin feeding on the nectar of flowers. Their size, combined with their rapid wing beats, allows them to hover and feed in the manner of hummingbirds, for which they are sometimes mistaken.

This manner of flight requires a great deal of energy and creates a good deal of heat in the moth’s body. For these reasons, moths feed exclusively on nectar and seek flowers which produce large amounts of this water source which also contain high amounts of sugar. Such is the case with the Evening Primrose (Onagraceae) Family, and particularly the Dune Evening Primrose, which the White-lined Sphinx Moth is responsible for pollinating.”— A.R. Royo

Lay down your labors for the the day, “for my yoke is easy and my burden is light” Matt 11:30 ††† en theos †††jimwork

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