sphinx moth

noun

Definition of sphinx moth

: hawk moth

Note: The larvae of the hawk or sphinx moth often assume a defensive position in which the front end is raised in a manner suggestive of the Egyptian sphinx.

Examples of sphinx moth in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web For example, the aforementioned and dreaded tomato hornworm metamorphizes into the large sphinx moth, a nighttime pollinator important to pitahaya and other night-blooming plants. Linda Jones, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Garden Mastery: Here’s how to identify and manage insect pests in your garden," 12 Sep. 2020 These rare, charming orchids were long thought to be pollinated by a single insect: the giant sphinx moth. Douglas Main, National Geographic, "Discovery reveals secrets about how ghost orchids reproduce," 11 July 2019 He was proven right 130 years later, when Morgan’s sphinx moth (Xanthopan morganii) was seen feeding from the orchid with its huge tongue. Douglas Main, National Geographic, "Discovery reveals secrets about how ghost orchids reproduce," 11 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sphinx moth.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of sphinx moth

1839, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of sphinx moth was in 1839

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Cite this Entry

“Sphinx moth.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sphinx%20moth. Accessed 26 Nov. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on sphinx moth

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about sphinx moth

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