The delightful Hummingbird Moth is often first thought to be a bird, making potential predators as well as humans take a second look.
Hummingbird Moth Videos
A Hummingbird Moth drinking nectar
Rapid beating of the Hummingbird Moth's wings
Fast-moving Hummingbird Moth on a phlox plant
Fast beating wings and a furry body give the Hummingbird Moth the appearance of a small hummingbird, but the moth lacks the long, thin beak, which is one of the hallmarks of a real hummingbird. Instead, the Hummingbird Moth has a proboscis that reaches deep into flowers. It drinks the nectar of many kinds of flowers and helps pollinate them as they wander between plants. The wings of the Hummingbird Moth are mostly transparent with dark borders, which is another indicator that it is not a true bird. It lacks feathers thought the moth looks like it has tail feathers.
Hummingbird Moths love gardens and are likely to visit many flowers while they are in the area. They can also be found in meadows and near forests. As a member of the Sphinx Moth family, Hummingbird Moths are daylight foragers that also feed at night. Adults are most active in late spring to early fall.
The larvae enjoy feeding on the leaves and stems of honeysuckle plants (vines as well as shrubs). Planting some in your yard may encourage the Hummingbird Moth adult to visit you more often. The horned caterpillar is green with dark red spot and green lines on its body.
Scientific Name: Hemaris sp.
Other Name(s): Common Clearwing
Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 40mm to 55mm (1.56in to 2.15in)
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.
Butterfly and Moth Anatomy
Antennae: Butterflies and Moths have a pair of antennae on the head used as sensors.
Head: The head is home to the insect's eyes, antennae, and proboscis.
Thorax: Home to the three pairs of legs as well as vital internal organs.
Abdomen: Contains vital internal organs such as the heart(s) and reproduction facilities.
Forewing: The upper, forward wing pair used for flying.
Hindwing: The lower, rearward wing pair used for flying.
NOTE: Butterflies and Moths are part of the Lepidopteran order as they share many similarities.