Monday, July 15, 2013

Phenology: Bumblebee Hawk Moth

Neverspent captured a photo of the Bumblebee Hawk Moth on a thistle blossom, reminding me that, although I've not seen one this summer, these moths are often observed around the Cat Sanctuary.

Bumblebee Hawk Moths are in the Sphingid family but, unlike most moths in this family, fly during the day, often sipping nectar from flowers like real bees. They're harmless but get some protection from predators by looking as if they might sting.

Japanese Beetles, the glossy brown insects on the flowers in the photo below the moth, have been fairly common around the Cat Sanctuary since 1978. (I first saw one in 1977.) They are a recently introduced nuisance species that can become a real pest on grapes and other garden plants. This year, I'm glad to report, they're one of the species whose population has dropped, presumably due to the very wet weather...