Fabulous Green Sphinxmoth of Kaua`i No. 2 (12 in x 12 in)
oil on wood, 2017
12 in x 12 in
gold leaf floater frame (15 in wide with frame)
The endangered fabulous green sphinx moth has eluded scientists for nearly a century dating back to entomologist B. Preston Clark’s offer in 1919 of one hundred dollars for a specimen of the moth. The species was thought to be extinct until it was re-discovered on the island of Kaua‘i in 1998 by Dr. Adam Asquith of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service who succeeded in attracting a male moth to a light trap. Moths are closely related to butterflies which are usually more drab in their coloration. However, this species is an exception with its brilliant green wings and thorax. The distinctive larva of the fabulous green sphinx moth has a reddish caudal horn which measures around half the length of the body. Its narrow patch of native lowland forest habitat has been hit by hurricanes and is increasingly under threat by fire and invasive weeds and animals.