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HumBug: Mythic Moths 

click to enlarge Elegant Sphinx moth resting on my hand, showing its silvery wings. - ANTHONY WESTKAMPER
  • Anthony Westkamper
  • Elegant Sphinx moth resting on my hand, showing its silvery wings.

Sunday night around 11:30 when I checked the light trap in my back yard, I was amazed to find a moth with a body as large as the first two sections of my finger and narrow wings like a hummingbird. I recognized it immediately as one of the Sphinx moths, although I didn't recognize the species. It was gray, black and white. I took a lot of pictures, pestered it to climb on my hand and was taking more when the telephone rang.

Worried there might be an emergency I set the subject down and hustled inside to answer. The caller was my friend and neighbor Rabbi Naomi Steinberg. I could hear the excitement in her voice. “There is a moth over here on the porch and it has a 5-inch wingspan!”
I told her, “I'll be right over!”

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