"Thank you in advance!"I reply, "My Sphingidae of Massachusetts website is accessed at http://www.silkmoths.bizland.com/MAsphinx.htm
"Your moth is Paonias excaecata, and I assume photo was taken some time last year as this would be a very early appearance for this spring.
"Pictures and info about Paonias excaecata can be accessed via the links on the page listed above. There is also a Norfolk County thumbnail checklist available from one of the links on the above page. It should help you with future ids. You are correct that the Mournful Sphinx would be very unlikely in Massachusetts.
"Please proved the date if you have it, grant permission to post photo, credited to you on the page, and I will document the sighting with the photo."
Thank you for your reply! This was actually taken two years ago (7/31/2009) but I was sorting through files on my computer and rediscovered both it and my desire to know what it was. You are welcome to post and credit the photo if you'd like. As another matter of curiosity, I have not found what the adults feed on. I actually found one site that said they don't feed on ANYTHING. Do they have such a short lifespan once they have come out of the pupal state?" "Some of the Sphingidae do feed as adults; some of them do not. Those in the subfamily Smerinthini, to which Paonias excaecata belongs, do not feed as adults. In that regard they are like the giant silk moths which also do not feed as adults. They live off fats stored during caterpillar days. These fats usually will only sustain them for about 5-7 days as adult moths. Thanks for permission to post images. Sphingidae from most of the other subfamilies do feed as adults."
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