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Hawk Moths Are Common in Michigan This Year
Michigan State University Gardening Extension

Hawk Moths Are Common in Michigan This Year

Pictured here is the hummingbird moth, which is able to hover in place while it pollinates flowers, just as a hummingbird does. They can be found in every state within the continental U.S. and are active from early spring till the end of summer. They are completely harmless.


The Michigan State University Extension is reporting that two species of hawk moths, or sphinx moth as they are sometimes referred to as, are very prevalent this summer in Michigan.

Both the white-lined sphinx and the hummingbird moth are being seen frequenting gardens in Michigan at an increased rate. The white-lined sphinx is most active at night, but can be seen during the day on phlox and petunia flowers. While, on the other hand, the hummingbird moth only flies during the day and can be commonly seen taking nectar from plants while hovering in the air (hence its name.)

The MSU Extension states that both caterpillar forms of these moths resemble "typical hornworms" and feed on viburnums, blueberries, cranberries and tomato plants.

To identify these moths, look for their distinct bullet shaped bodies and short wings and listen for their loud chirping or squeaking made by forcing air through their long proboscises.

The USDA states that some hawk moths are among the largest moths in the world and that "they are some of the only insects to pollinate flowers purposefully."



Filed Under: PEST, PESTS, MOTH, MOTHS, LC/DBM
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August 22, 2019, 3:18 am PDT

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