The First White-lined Sphinx of the Year

While photographing the Pink Jasmine (Jasminum polyanthum) vines in my front courtyard in early March of 2006, I discovered a large White-lined Sphinx (Hyles lineata) moth hiding amongst the flowers. Even though the early spring nights are still cool, nocturnal insects like these moths have already begun to emerge.

White-lined Sphinx (Hyles lineata) moth hiding in the flowers

Annoyed at being discovered, the White-lined Sphinx flew off and landed on the back of a concrete turtle for just a moment before disappearing into the night.

White-lined Sphinx (Hyles lineata) moth

I often see White-lined Sphinx caterpillars, especially during summer and early fall, but glimpses of the hummingbird-like adult moths in flight are usually so fleeting that I'm unable to identify or even photograph them. This particular night was cool, and the White-lined Sphinx was a bit sluggish and somewhat disinclined to fly, which finally allowed me to get a photograph of this very common moth.