Hummingbird Moth (Hemaris sp.)
Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Hummingbird Moth.
Updated: 1/5/2016; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
The delightful Hummingbird Moth is often first thought to be a bird, making potential predators as well as humans take a second look.
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.
See a Hummingbird Moth in motion here:
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.