Enyo lugubris nectaring at Sarracenia alata, October 17, 2008, 50m,
Sabine National Forest, Jasper County, Texas, courtesy of Wolfgang Stuppy.
"In 2008 I took a very interesting shot of a hawkmoth 'stealing' nectar from the pitcher of Sarracenia alata in east Texas. Ian Kitching from the NHM in London kindly helped me with the identification of the moth (see copied communications below), and he also pointed me to your website. Please have a look at the attached image and let me know what you think. Being a botanist, I am being intrigued by the moth's behaviour. Is it possible that my photograph documents a rather unique observation? You are welcome to use the image on your website, if you like."Ian Kitching had replied, "Dear Wolfgang,
"I would agree with Lee that sphingids, especially those with particularly long tongues, are clever enough to recognize and use unconventional nectar sources. However, I am unaware of anyone having reported hawkmoths drinking from pitcher plant pitchers, let alone having photographed it. If you want further information on the moth, then I would need to see the photo to determine which species it is (although I would expect it is one of the black and white species of the genus Aellopos. I understand that you may not at this time wish to send the image, so please let me know if and when I can be of further help."
"Thanks for the two images. It was a bit of a surprise as the moth was not the species I was expecting. In fact, it is a male Enyo lugubris. There is more on the species at Enyo lugubris. However, although there are plenty of flower-feeding shots, there is nothing I can find on pitcher-plant feeding. Where in Texas did you shoot it? I ask because I am building up a database of hawkmoth distributions and would like to add your record."
Family: Sphingidae, Latreille, 1802
copyright C. Odenkirk
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