August 06, 2009

A Special Treat: Hummingbird Moths

It was such a delight last night to see a special visitor hovering around the Butterfly Bush. I have only ever seen one before, years ago, and had been amazed by this fascinating creature. On your first encounter it can be a bit confusing! Many people have the same response I had: Is that a hummingbird? But it has antennae! Is it a bug!? What IS that thing!?

Hummingbird Moths are actually a type of Sphinx Moth of the genus Hemaris. The one pictured here in my garden is a Hummingbird Clearwing Moth (Hemaris thysbe). They have a wingspan of roughly 1.5 to 4 inches and display the rapid wingbeats of a hummingbird as they zip to and fro, usually in the evening, sipping nectar from the flowers. I do hope you have an opportunity to encounter one of these enchanting creatures!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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