Yesterday evening a neighbor came over after dinner to do a minor repair on the exterior of the house for us. While I was outside I noticed some Mournful Sphinx moths in the yellow lantana flowers. These are big brown moths, with heavy stocky bodies about an inch and a half long. They can hover almost like hummingbirds.


I used flash for these photos to freeze the action, especially since the sun was going down and there wasn’t much natural light.


My neighbor’s little grandson had come along as a helper (his job was to carry the hammer) and the moths frightened him at first–he thought they were giant bees. So while his grandfather did the repair, the little boy and I observed the moths and talked about bees and moths and butterflies.


One more Mournful Sphinx moth.


In October 2012 I photographed a green anole capturing a sphinx moth–they were pretty well matched in size and strength, and the anole struggled for quite awhile before it managed to subdue the moth.  I posted about it here: Anole Versus Moth on Wednesday .