In the news- White-lined Sphinx moths reported by iNatters

INaturalist was mentioned in this article reporting on an increase in so-called “hummingbird moths” in California.

Hummingbird moths


While my desert willow tree (Chilopsis linearis) blooms, I regularly have 2 dozen active Hyles lineata in the front yard on summer evenings in New Mexico.


These have truly been showing up in unusual numbers this summer here in the SF Bay Area. Multiple non-naturalist friends have sent me photos of them this summer, generally wanting to know if it is a bird or an insect.


Flying crayfish here

I’ve had a good number of them here in Oklahoma this year.

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Definitely seen an increase in H. lineata numbers lately here in Long Beach. I usually don’t catch them sedentary but I see a number flying around the neighborhood somewhat regularly.

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I’m a bit envious.

While my old neighbor showed me a picture of a caterpillar a couple months ago, I’ve yet to see one here in San Jose. I remember those caterpillars were everywhere in the Anza Borega Desert when I visited a few years ago,

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Same here, but interestingly I usually find them sedentary and rarely see them flying. I’ve also seen far more in La Jolla than usual. At one point in the spring I came across seven of them resting on a wall, and they seemed to stay there quite a while.

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They definitely seem to have boom years in certain places. In 2015 it seemed like nearly every plant in the northwest Mojave Desert had at least one caterpillar on it - we were flabbergasted and unable to really photograph the abundance to our satisfaction.

We saw quite a few in Mono County, California the other week, and I was able to get some slow motion footage of them nectaring on Aconitum columbianum and Delphinium glaucum (I think). Watch in 4k if you can!

I’ve heard stories of roads being closed due to smashed caterpillars making the asphalt slippery. Maybe those are apocryphal but I can almost believe it…


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