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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/big black flying insect with 2 broad yellow stripes

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Question
I live in northwest Tennessee.  Yesterday my wife and I were working in the flowerbed, and I noticed a big black bug flying around the pink azalea blossoms.  It was about 2-3 inches long and it had 2 broad yellow stripes on its abdomen.  On closer inspection I thought it might be a humming bird because I saw that it had what looked like tail feathers at the end of its abdomen.  So then I got really close, and saw that it had antennae.  Its head and antennae were fuzzy like a moth, but the lower half of its body was not fuzzy.  I have never seen a bug like this.  It looked like a cross between a bumble bee, humming bird, and a moth.  Any ideas?

Answer
Chuck:

Thankfully, this is one I can recognize without an image attached to the question....

The creature is a "Nessus Sphinx" moth:

http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Amphion-floridensis

http://mothphotographersgroup.msstate.edu/species.php?hodges=7873

It is thought that the moth might be mimicking a cicada killer wasp.  The moths fly mostly at dusk.

Eric

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Eric R. Eaton

Expertise

I answer insect and spider identification questions ONLY. Attach images if possible. No "what bit me?", "what do I feed this bug in captivity?", or science fair project questions please. NO TECHNICAL QUESTIONS ABOUT INSECT PHYSIOLOGY.

Experience

Principal author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America. Professional entomologist employed previously at University of Massachusetts, Chase Studio, Inc., and Cincinnati Zoo; contract work for West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, Smithsonian Institution, and Portland (Oregon) State University.

Publications
Author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Missouri Conservationist magazine, Ranger Rick, Birds & Blooms, Timeline (journal of the Ohio Historical Society). I have contributed to several books as well.

Education/Credentials
Oregon State University, undergraduate major in entomology, did not receive degree.

Awards and Honors
One of the top 50 experts in all categories for AllExperts.com, 2009.

Past/Present Clients
Principal author of the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Smithsonian Institution (contract), Cincinnati Zoo (employer), Portland State University (contract), Chase Studio, Inc (employer), Arkansas Museum of Discovery (guest speaker). Currently seeking speaking engagements, leadership roles at nature festivals, workshops, and ecotours.

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