A local morning radio show host's questions have been answered by scientists.

Sarah Sullivan, who is also the operations manager at Townsquare Media in Dover, NH was enjoying a day off at her home on Wednesday when she saw something unusual hanging out on her new she-shed.

Photo by Sarah Sullivan
Photo by Sarah Sullivan

So, Sullivan took a photo and posted it on Facebook, trying to figure out what was going on. A number of her friends, including members of the media, suggested answers.

Then Sullivan created an article for her employer and used a YouTube video to help describe what she was seeing.

On Thursday, the newsroom reached out to the University of New Hampshire and state officials to see if a positive identification could be made.

The photo above that Sullivan took is of mating pair of sphinx moths - Blinded sphinx moth, Paonias excaecata, according to Professor Donald Chandler.

Chandler teaches courses at the University of New Hampshire's College of Life Sciences and Agriculture about the biology and diversity of insects. He also serves as a curator of the college's insect collection.

Morgan Dube, an entomologist in the Division of Plant Industry at the New Hampshire Department of Agriculture, Markets and Food agreed with Chandler.

"Pretty neat one, very few moths have wings that are scalloped like that. They are native and widely distributed through the US. Fun fact is that the adults don’t feed at all. They just… do what they are doing… and then die," Dube said.

Dube said the larvae (caterpillars) have a fairly wide host range. She said people can use a bug guide to learn more.

The New Hampshire Department of Agriculture, Markets and Food also has an insect and spider information guide for people to refer to if they have questions about what is in their backyards.

Contact Managing News Editor Kimberley Haas at Kimberley.Haas@townsquaremedia.com.

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