The Sphinx Moth Project


Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
(unranked): Macrolepidoptera
Superfamily: Bombycoidea
Family: Sphingidae
Latreille, 1802
Subfamilies
Macroglossinae
Smerinthinae
Sphinginae
Diversity
About 200 genera,
roughly 1,200 species
Facts: Courtesy of Wikipedia

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The Sphinx Moth is an interesting creature that has an interesting trait.  Yes its tongue, or better known as its proboscis, can range from an inch to several inches.  This particular specimen that I caught, had a proboscis that was approximately four inches long (approx. 10 cm)!  It might seem a little odd that I would measure every proboscis from every sphinx that I catch… but I do.  As a young child, I was always fascinated with creatures (of any sort).  This sometimes found me in a predicament, but that is however a different story.
In addition, I watched a program some time ago where a group of scientists found the missing bridge between a rare flower and a specific kind of Sphingidae  (sphinx moth).  It turned out that the so-called “missing link” was in fact a Sphinx Moth that had a proboscis that was approximately 12 inches long (approx. 30 cm)!  The amazing part was, after three years of staking out the flower, they finally caught the “missing link” on video.  In other words, the sphinx moth with the 12 inch long (approx. 30 cm) proboscis not only existed but still lives!  (I will have to add a link to that program soon)
I also wanted to mention that there were no Sphinx Moths injured during this experiment.  And Please folks, do not try this at home.  The Sphinx Moth species are fragile, as well as their proboscis.

P.S.  I would like to give thanks to the Gitwizard (or perhaps the Daftwizard) for reminding me about this post that I had sitting in my “Drafts” for well over a year! 🙂

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4 thoughts on “The Sphinx Moth Project

  1. Actually, I think you have the pic on your flickr… which is what reminded me. These moths are awesome. I once found one that had fluorescent pink on it. But was unable to take a picture before letting it go.

  2. I wondered how you were reminded, I thought you were comparing my age to the Sphinx…… :o)
    I’d forgotten i’d posted that on Flickr, I must get round to scanning those pics (a lot of them were photographed from the prints before I could afford a scanner)

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