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News : Odd-looking moth sparks interest, says PhD student Serena Gross

Odd-looking moth sparks interest, says PhD student Serena Gross
by Tiffanie Dismore and Nathan Caldwell WLFI - Lafayette, IN

An odd looking moth was found flying around Lafayette and had some wondering if it was an insect from Africa.

Gaye Martin found the unique-looking moth near her Lafayette business. She said she has never seen one like it before, which prompted her to do some research. That research lead her to believe the moth's origin was from Africa.

"He's so large. He is just so big. Two-and-a-half to three inches long. He is camouflaged and we've never seen anything like that before," Martin explained.

News Channel 18 took the moth to Purdue University entomology Ph.D. student Serena Gross who said the moth looks a lot like the species of moth from African Martin thought she had, but it isn't.

"(The moth from Africa is a) similar species that is called the Lime Green Sphinx Moth, which is has actually not been found in America. A lot of times it is confused with the Pandora Sphinx Moth. Almost exactly the same color, the same shape. The only difference is a stripe pattern on the wings," Gross said.

Gross said it is easy to get the Pandora Sphinx Moth confused with the Lime Green Sphinx Moth. She said the Pandora Sphinx Moth is usually out and about during the evening hours around evening blooming flowers to get nectar.

To view video of the interview, click here.