The one-eyed sphinx moth’s stealthy camouflage includes a surprising and effective “look”
Wooded valleys in southern Canada from Newfoundland to British Columbia
WHY SO SPECIAL
Uses false eyespots to intimidate predators
This large, secretive moth spends the day resting on a tree trunk, relying on its cryptic coloration to blend with the texture of the bark and camouflage it from the discerning eyes of hungry songbirds. When gently prodded or threatened, the moth snaps its forewings forward to reveal two conspicuous eyespots on its hindwings. To heighten the impact of this startling display, the moth rocks the tip of its abdomen up and down. The sudden appearance of two large eyes that move menacingly towards an intruder is unnerving to humans and would presumably spook a small songbird. If the deception fails, the moth is doomed: it has no other means of protection and it is too slow to escape.