I just released a moth from my house in Colorado. What species is it? It had a huge wingspan, dark brown on it's dorsal side, and with black and white patterns with a little red on the ventral side. When resting, it resembled a right-angled triangle


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Anna Levi Profile
Anna Levi answered

A white lined sphinx moth maybe? It's difficult to know without a picture

Virginia Lou Profile
Virginia Lou answered

Dear Rex Stutznegger,

I don't think I can help you with the moth...but your Q caught my eye, I lived twelve years in the forests on Mt. Baker in Washington State. And at a certain time every year, I would find a few HUGE moths plastered to my windows in the morning.

* * *

When I asked the local folk, it turned out these were a species that lives only in Old Growth timber. I don't recall the right-triangle shape, however, so probably not the same moth...but my experience just as a possible hint that might be a lead for you.

Are you near Old Growth?

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Virginia Lou
Virginia Lou commented
Hi Rex, I am using Old Growth as also called virgin timber, ancient forest. When the original primeval forest has been logged once, what comes back is second growth and it is an altogether different ecosystem.

So, there are some plants and animals that can only survive in Old Growth, others that prefer it. These moths were stunning, although so many years now I do not really recall the coloration. But I looked at images on the Internet, and yes to the wing positioning...from that perspective could indeed have been what I saw!

I do KNOW why you were impressed. Just never seen anything like those moths.
Water Nebula
Water Nebula commented
I've done some research, and there is only one know ancient forest in Colorado, and the closest known city happens to be where I live. It's not super close, but it could explain why this is the first time I've seen that kind of moth. Thanks!
Virginia Lou
Virginia Lou commented
I would not be surprised...

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