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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/insect looks like dried leaf


QUESTION: I live in South Orange County, California. Yesterday I saw the insect in the photo on my patio near my potted plants. I would like to know what it is and what might be attracting it. I have never seen one of these before. At first I thought it was a dried up leaf, until it flew at me. It's body is about the size of a woman's pinky finger, the wingspan is about 3 inches wide and is vaying shades of tan. As it sat still on a stucco wall, it's wings fluttered almost as rapidly as a hummingbird's, then paused, then fluttered again.

ANSWER: Hi Jill,

You forgot to attach the photo! Send it to me and I will identify it for you.


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: oops! I'm attaching here. Thanks!

Hello Jill,

The photo is of a moth called an Achemon Sphinx moth (species: Eumorpha achemon). Great photo! It is probably attracted to your patio because of some lights there or because of the plants. They like the nectar of some flowers.


Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Jessica Mellinger


I can answer questions about invertebrates native to California, including insects commonly found in homes. If you have an identification request, please attach a photo to your question.


I was involved in collection and identification of invertebrates for the United States Geological Survey, Biological Resources Division for six years. Also, I provided these same services intermittently for the UC Davis John Muir Institute of the Environment for many years. I have been a member of since 2009.

Department of the Interior: United States Geological Survey, Davis Field Station; University of California, Davis Aggie Alumni Association; UC Davis Center for Neuroscience; U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs

I have two B.A.'s from the University of California, Davis and two Associate's degrees from Sacramento City College.

Awards and Honors
Special Thanks for Achieving Results award from the Department of the Interior

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