Hummingbird Moth (Hawkmoth) – Pupa

Q: We found this laying in our garden right where we had pulled out some red tip photinias. Can you tell us what this is? Is it alive or dead?

A: This is the pupal case of a sphinx moth. The hummingbird moth (hawkmoth) is a common sphinx moth. It looks like a hummingbird as it flits from flower to flower in summer. Its color, though, is more of an olive green that the iridescent blue-green of a hummingbird.

You can bury the pupa in loose soil at the bottom of a screened box and see what hatches in a few weeks or next spring. Keep the screen box in a sheltered spot outdoors until then.

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