Thursday, July 8, 2010

It's a Moth, It's a Hummingbird, It's a Hummingbird Moth!!!

This little fellow was spotted in my daughter's back yard a few days ago. Well, not this one; she tried taking pictures but none turned out because they were all blurry.

She said at first she thought it was a bug, but it moved like a hummingbird.  Finally, she found out what it was: a hummingbird moth!  I never knew there was such a thing.  Isn't it cute?

It sort of looks like a bumblebee, too. And it's fuzzy-looking, like a bee. But its movements are like that of a hummingbird, because it flits very quickly from flower to flower and hovers while it eats.  Unlike most moths, it comes out during daylight hours. It even hums like hummingbirds do, probably from the quick beating of its wings.

From what we can tell the one she saw was a Snowberry Clearwing Hummingbird Moth. Although its wings don't appear clear in these photos, usually the wings are covered in scales, but some species lose the scales; thus the name 'clearwing.'

Hummingbird moths are sort of plump and their tails open into a fan shape. They have a very long tongue which stays rolled up under their chins until they come upon a flower with the nectar that interests them. They tend to like phlox, monarda, honeysuckle, and verbena.

Here is a picture of a hummingbird moth on phlox flowers. 


  1. It is definately a new thing in my yard. I have never seen them before this year.

  2. Why don't I ever get anything like this in my yard?

  3. The hummingbird moth is inclined to live on streets with the words 'Park' and 'Avenue' in their names.....

  4. My grandmother spotted one of these about 15 years ago on her lavender. We did a little research and found out what it was. I see them all the time now. They love my Oswego Tea and butterfly bushes. Oh, and my street isn't a Park or Avenue :)

  5. If it wasn't so hot outside I might spot one every now and then, but I just can't take the heat! And my street is a "drive," so maybe that's why I haven't seen any. Thanks, Bonnie. These things are probably more prevalent than we realize; just hard to spot.

  6. I live in Brackley, Northants and spotted this 'thing' visiting every geranium flower it could, the shocking pink ones were most popular.
    I'm so glad to have found out exactly what it is.