moth? moth casing? bat?(OMG NO!)

Asked May 26, 2015, 3:09 PM EDT

Please id this 'thing' for me: found at noon, 2-3", too scary to actually measure or get too close to. Don't want to harm it just because it's scary, but if it's dangerous or harmful, that's another story. Thanks, Natalie (gardener deathly afraid of bats- altho I can see this isn't a bat-- it resembles one)Thanks for this service!

Menominee County Michigan

1 Response

That is an insect, an adult moth of a species called the Abbott's Sphinx. It can fly like a hummingbird, hovering at flowers to sip nectar with a long tongue. The caterpillar stage feeds on the leaves of grape and Virginia creeper. The caterpillar comes in a number of distinctly different forms. Not a frequently seen moth, they are rarely numerous enough to cause any actual harm to grapes. See the attached pictures.