sphinx moth

noun

: 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 However, some species of hawk moths and sphinx moths are less frequently observed due to their specific habitat requirements and limited distribution. Jake Parks, Discover Magazine, 12 July 2024 When experimenting with the sphinx moth caterpillars (Manduca sexta), the researchers placed the caterpillar in a hard plastic sleeve with holes and then made an incision in one of its prolegs. Elizabeth Rayne, Ars Technica, 8 Apr. 2024 White, green and yellow striped tomato hornworms are the caterpillars of sphinx moths! Nan Sterman, San Diego Union-Tribune, 1 July 2023 Under attack, the Nessus sphinx moth caterpillar emits a sort of crackling buzz from its mouth. Elizabeth Preston, Discover Magazine, 23 Mar. 2018 Conservation photographer Mac Stone used a camera trap to capture the first-ever photo of a giant sphinx moth visiting a ghost orchid. Steven Bedard, Discover Magazine, 26 Nov. 2019 The huge sphinx moth and their large caterpillars are out and about. Ernie Cowan, San Diego Union-Tribune, 29 Oct. 2022 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, 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, 11 July 2019

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'sphinx moth.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1839, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of sphinx moth was in 1839

Dictionary Entries Near sphinx moth

Cite this Entry

“Sphinx moth.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sphinx%20moth. Accessed 20 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

sphinx moth

noun

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