Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

  Sighting 1243893

Sequoia sphinx
Sphinx sequoiae

Observation date: March 22, 2020
Submitted by: BKOakland
Specimen type: Photograph
Observation notes: Found inside house. With some effort, eventually got it outside. It appeared to tire out / refuse to move after flying around. We turned off all inside lights, opened door, etc., finally landed on framed picture and I moved it outside. Was able to get good look at it as it stayed on frame while I gently with edge of kleenex pulled away a few dust "strings" from its back legs. It had short stubby antennae, was gray with some pale, mottled, diagonal stripes from body sort of pointing toward wing edges. Wings were narrow, exactly like the photos you have of Sequoia Sphinx. It looked exactly like the light gray photo in your dB. Wing span was approx 3". Live in Oakland CA halfway up the east bay hills with open space at the top. There are many trees in this city, and this neighborhood/area is well wooded. My street has redwoods in median. We have a large, mature Calif Buckeye tree (Aesculus californica) in a large garden facing street. It is not in bloom now, but will be in late April-May. I see that the adult food of the Sequoia Sphinx moth is the CA Buckeye. I left the moth on our front ground cover, after it climbed onto the kleenix with some very gentle encouragement. I'm sorry we didn't get a photo.
Status: Resident
Verified by: jwileyrains
Verified date: October 15, 2021
Coordinator notes: Nice photo - thanks for submitting this. JRains
Checklist region(s): United States, California, Alameda County