Large moth -- probably a Pachysphinx modesta, aka Big Poplar or Modest Sphinx

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    This fellow was apparently just resting, on my front stoop in Casco (Maine) Friday afternoon. He adopted this slightly aggressive posture when prodded (to see if in fact he WAS alive!). Quite large, and I've never seen one like it before, here..... I'd love to know what species this is!

    I think it is some variety of Sphinx Moth or Hawkmoth, but which, exactly?? :-)

    wolfdyke and oryantezuka added this photo to their favorites.

    1. vtpeacenik 90 months ago | reply

      Gee! He is gorgeous.
      Not like this one, but I had a huge moth at my window one night a couple of weeks ago. 4-5' wingspread, brown with "eyes". Never saw such a big moth.

      Seen on my Flickr home page. (?)

    2. 90 months ago | reply

      wow, what a fantastic creature! no idea what type of moth it is tho', sorry.

    3. Gwen's River City Images 90 months ago | reply

      Lovely shot of this one. I think you're right on the family. I use this site to do my identifications on moths and butterflies. You can even look by your state.

    4. bobtravis 90 months ago | reply

      Thanks, Gwen. Great reference, as usual!! :-) From looking there, it seems the best match is probably Pandorus sphinx (Eumorpha pandorus), but there seems to be a LOT of color variation, judging by the photos I've seen there, so I'm very open to a better guess!

    5. Gwen's River City Images 90 months ago | reply

      I'm leaning more towards the Modest sphinx. The critical markings to me are the scalloping on the edges of the wing and that little white spot on the wide dark band of the forewing. Here is a better picture than the one on the Butterflies and Moths site and one here too of Pachysphinx modesta.

    6. bobtravis 90 months ago | reply

      Yup, that's a precise match! Great find, Gwen -- thanks! I had seen other photos of the Big Poplar Sphinx, but they didn't match up like these do.

    7. Anita363 90 months ago | reply

      Great find! Quite right, they flash those eye markings on the underwing in order to try to scare away potential predators.

    8. Francesco E 90 months ago | reply

      wonderful detail!

    9. Shawn Wainwright 58 months ago | reply

      Cool looking Moth!
      You've been invited to join us at

      Moths of the eastern United States

    10. ACREMAR 57 months ago | reply

      Lovely moth!
      Very good shot :)

      Alessandra & Rocco

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