My Tongue is Long and Segmented - Aellopos Titan Moth

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Austin, United States

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Also known as the White Banded Day Sphinx.

I post this one because it captured the long Tongue, its amazing colors, and its segmented element. You can also see a bit of the striping on the wings, and more yellow, so this one is a female.

The Aellopos Moth is listed as RARE! :))) I believe in this series of photos that I’ve photographed two different Moths. I think there was a pair. They were so fast, it was hard to be certain, but there seem to be different features on the two different ones. I did find out why they have to be so fast, however. Not long after I was snapping photos, several birds showed up, checking out my subjects for lunch…. However, the moths disappeared so fast, I don’t think the birds even saw them!!! Nor could I even find them!

TAXONOMY:

Family: Sphingidae, Latreille, 1802
Subfamily: Macroglossinae, Harris, 1839
Tribe: Dilophonotini, Burmeister, 1878
Genus: Aellopos Hubner, 1819 ………..
Species: titan Cramer, 1777

DISTRIBUTION:
Aellopos titan, the Titan Sphinx (wingspan: 2 3/16 – 2 9/16 inches (5.4 – 6.5 cm)), is a strong flying, day sphinx found from Uruguay and northern Argentina north through Central America
Mexico;
Belize: Stann Creek, Toledo;
Nicaragua: Masaya;
Costa Rica: Puntarenas, Alajuela, Guanacaste, Limon, Cartago, Heredia, San Jose;
and the West Indies to the Florida Keys (probably misidentified, more likely tantalus, not likely to be in Florida, except perhaps as very rare strays.) The White-banded Day Sphinx strays north to Maine, and west to Iowa, Minnesota and North Dakota and southern Arizona.

Surinam is given as the specimen type locality.

John Snyder confirms a single specimen in the Clemson University collection (Pickens County, South Carolina, way back in 1935).

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