We spotted a Tersa Sphinx Moth (Xylophanes tersa) inside our house one evening last week. I think it is beautiful.
The moth has a pointed abdomen, and it colours include different shades of brown. The upperside of the hindwing is dark brown with a band of whitish wedge-shaped marks.
We’ve seen the caterpillars of this specie of moth all the time, but rarely do we see the adult moth on the inside of our home.
As I got closer to this moth, it became defensive and began fluttering its wings rapidly . . . at a speed similar to that of a hummingbird.
I understand that the adult Tersa Sphinx begins feeding at dusk; it feeds on nectar from various flowers, usually deep-throated flowers.
Here are a few more photos of this moth perched on our lighting fixture.
I read here that the range of the habitat of Tersa Sphinx Moths is from the United States (Massachusetts south to southern Florida, west to Nebraska, New Mexico and southern Arizona), through Mexico, the West Indies and Central America and into parts of South America (including Bolivia, Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil). An occasional stray can be found as far north as Canada.
Later that night, the moth was nowhere to be found, it went into hiding somewhere inside our home. We later found it a few days later, dead and being eaten by ants.
Such is life.