Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Strange flying insect


Flying insect
Flying insect  
Hi, I saw this strange flying insect at a park in Lawrenceville, GA on July 27th around 2:30 pm. It appeared to be eating the piece of dog poop (pictured). It seemed to hover by the poop kind of like a hummingbird. The anterior part of the body was brown and it had a long snout, through which it appeared to be feeding. The posterior was black and yellow. Please identify this bug! Thank you!

Hi, Jessi:

The insect in the image is a day-flying moth known as the "Nessus Sphinx."  Here's more:


The above link should provide all the information you desire.  It is thought that perhaps the moth is a mimic of the Eastern Cicada Killer Wasp, Sphecius speciosus .

Thanks for sharing your observation!


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Eric R. Eaton


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.


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.

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.

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

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

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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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