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Department of Entomology


It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s a Moth: The Sphinx Moths of Ohio

Dec. 28, 2023

This week through our social media channels we’ve been showcasing some important pollinators, the sphinx moths of Ohio! Research Tech Illiana Moore and Entomology Chair Jamie Strange contributed this fact sheet that highlights these amazing and important pollinators for many wildflowers and garden plants in the Midwest and across the globe.

If you spend a lot of time around flowers, you may have noticed large, hovering pollinators that look and sound like hummingbirds, but on closer inspection are not birds at all; they are insects. These are the large moths known as sphinx moths, hawk moths, or hummingbird moths.

Sphinx moths pollinate a large variety of flowers by picking up and carrying pollen on their long proboscises, especially large tube- and horn-shaped blooms, such as morning glories, columbines, and petunias that are often too deep and narrow for other pollinators.  Check out more about these amazing creatures: