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What is a sphinx moth?

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Quick Answer

The Hiles lineata, or white-lined sphinx moth, is a moth of the Sphingidae family found throughout North American desert regions. It is commonly called the "hummingbird moth" and the "hawk moth" due to its swift, hovering flight pattern.

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Full Answer

The moth and its wings are predominantly tan to brown, bearing white stripes and dark spots. With wingspans exceeding 5 inches, the species is among the largest flying insects of the desert. The white-lined sphinx moth is most active from dusk until dawn and commonly spotted on plants, especially after periods of rain. They are known to pollinate flowers such as the evening primrose, orchid and petunia.

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