National Geographic : 1965 Jun
With tongue longer than its body, a hovering moth dines from a deep-throated tobac co blossom. After the meal, Protoparcesexta will coil up its thread-thin proboscis like a watch spring. The species owes its name sexta to six orange-yellow spots on either side of the body. During daylight it sits in a state of torpor, eyes masked by forelegs, antennae folded under wings. At dusk it stirs, flies, and feeds. Sap-sucking aphids, barely bigger than pinheads, pecklthe thtobacco flowers. Mr. Davidson did not spray them for fear of killing the moths, which even so lived scarcely a week. Wings near top of their beat, body superbly poised, a moth drains a bloom. Hum mingbirds favor red flowers, but nocturnal sphinxes prefer white or pale colors, per haps because they see light objects better in the dark. Some sphinxes fly by day as well.