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News Story
Updated: 10/18/2013 02:38:36PM

Life in Florida

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JOURNAL PHOTO BY BARB SHEASLEY


A Vine Sphinx Moth has wings that look is if they where carved out of wood.

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Halloween is just around the corner. We start thinking of creepy crawly things. If you have a phobia about bugs, Florida is not the place to live. I spend many hours in my yard encountering all types of insects. Some I like and others I could do without.

The bug featured with this week’s column landed on my screen last weekend. After doing some research, I found out he was a Vine Sphinx Moth. To me, this moth’s wings look like they were carved out of wood. He was fairly large with a wing span of 3 to 4 inches and a body of almost 3 inches. Common in the southern U.S., as well as the mountainous southwest, they dine on evening primrose, oenothera species, water primrose, and nectar plants. That would explain his presence in my butterfly garden. The moth lays large spherical, smooth eggs on a food plant. The hatched caterpillars feed on the plant and the mature larvae bury themselves in an underground cavity in the fall. In the spring they crawl out as a moth. This would explain why you do not see them in the winter months.

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