Day flying moths

Kathleen Moon kmoon at
Sat Aug 28 11:53:28 EDT 1999

jhimmel at CONNIX.COM wrote:
> 'O Learned Throng -
> I was asked a very interesting question - that I couldn't answer.  Are there
> more day-flying moths on the wing in North America than there are butterflies on
> a typical day?
> Any thoughts?

Well now, that is a sticky one:  Counting species, probably not, but if
you are counting individuals, the white-lined sphinx and others that can
be very common could throw the proportions of your count the other way
by several orders of magnitude.  One spring day, I was in Box Canyon
(~160 miles east of Los Angeles in the Coachella Valley area [Colorado
Desert]) and saw some 30 white-lined sphinxes (Hyles lineata) nectaring
at Chilopsis linearis (mimbre) between 1045h and 1115h.  So I am told,
this is not all that unusual for this species.

Pierre A Plauzoles
sphinxangelorum at

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