Daylilies forum: Hummingbird moth

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Name: Chuck
Gorham Maine (Zone 5a)
Hummingbirder Daylilies Garden Ideas: Level 1
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dogwalker
Aug 4, 2015 11:46 AM CST
Until last year I had never heard of let alone seen a Hummingbird moth.
I like other folks first thought...Oh my goodness, a baby hummingbird!
It can fly just like a hummingbird, hover and drinks nectar but is indeed a moth.
It has become a welcome, if not strange visitor to the flowers.
Chuck
Thumb of 2015-08-04/dogwalker/4b248b

Life is a journey of adventure and discovery, sail bravely into each new day.
Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
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Hemlady
Aug 4, 2015 1:45 PM CST
They are neat. I have seen them before.
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Name: Heidi
CT (Zone 5b)
Always find the awesome in your day
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mom2cjemma
Aug 4, 2015 1:49 PM CST
I have had them in my flower gardens off and on over the past few years. They are fun to watch. The really like my bee balm and phlox.

I was just thinking about them today when I was out checking out my daylilies, funny that you mentioned them.

Heidi
Name: Gale
CentralWa (Zone 6a)
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GDJCB
Aug 4, 2015 5:08 PM CST
We get them often here, they are fun to watch.
Name: Betty
MN zone 4
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daylilydreams
Aug 4, 2015 5:17 PM CST
We see them most years, they are fascinating to watch.
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Betty MN Zone4 AHS member

Name: Char
Vermont (Zone 4b)
Daylilies Forum moderator Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Region: Vermont
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Char
Aug 4, 2015 5:48 PM CST

Moderator

We usually have a few hummingbird moths every year...I was beginning to wonder where they were this year. Finally, saw one on the verbena while sitting on the deck yesterday. I've also seen them sipping from the daylilies while I'm out pollinating in previous years.
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds Ponds
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beckygardener
Aug 4, 2015 7:58 PM CST
Mine come out at dusk and love the plumbago blooms. They look like fighter jets all flying in the air. I've often wondered if they roost together because they all show up in the garden right before sundown.
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
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Name: Teresa
South central KY (Zone 6b)
Consider the lilies of the field
Seller of Garden Stuff Irises Hostas Region: Kentucky Lilies Peonies
Region: United States of America Garden Photography Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Cat Lover Heucheras
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bluegrassmom
Aug 4, 2015 8:27 PM CST
I saw one Monday, about dusk, it was over the daylilies for a brief moment and then flew away.
Name: Kevin Smith
INDIANA (Zone 5b)
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kssmith
Aug 5, 2015 5:43 PM CST
I have seen one of those but never knew what it was. Love watching things like that. Congrats on the photo Chuck. Thumbs up
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Name: Maryl
Oklahoma (Zone 7a)
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Maryl
Aug 5, 2015 6:46 PM CST
Many years ago my husband used to curse them when he found their caterpillars on his tomato plants. The tobacco/tomato hornworm, that big green monster with the hooked tail, is the youth stage of your Hummingbird moth (also known as a Hawk moth, sphinx moth etc.). Later we found out how beneficial they are and dedicated a sacrificial tomato plant or three for these wonderful pollinators. Their larvae are diet specific eating only plants in the solinaceae family such as tomatoes, eggplants, etc. Tossing them in the grass or into the weeds will not save them. My neighbor and I mistakenly did that when the caterpillars were found munching on her ornamental Datura plants. This is another species that has lessened over the years as the urbanization of the wild has ruined much of their habitat. So if you have them buzzing around your yard, try and save a tomato plant or two for their young to munch on..............Maryl
[Last edited by Maryl - Aug 5, 2015 7:31 PM (+)]
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Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds Ponds
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beckygardener
Aug 5, 2015 7:01 PM CST
Excellent advice, Maryl! Thank You!

I love those BIG boys! They were feeding on one of my plants (not tomatoes) ... I can't remember which ones, but I remember the location. It was a potted plant. It blended right in with the plant as a curled leaf. I was removing dead or dying leaves from the plant when I grabbed ahold of the caterpillar thinking it was a leaf. Freaked me out because I was not expecting it!

But I captured it and fed it until it turned into a moth.

Here are two of them at different stages of growth:

Thumb of 2015-08-06/beckygardener/4ca92d

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Garden Rooms and Becky's Budget Garden
[Last edited by beckygardener - Aug 5, 2015 7:02 PM (+)]
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Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds Ponds
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beckygardener
Aug 5, 2015 7:31 PM CST
Chuck - Your post might have generated a lot more info if it had been posted to the Gardening for Butterflies, Birds and Bees forum:

http://garden.org/forums/view/butterflies/
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Garden Rooms and Becky's Budget Garden
[Last edited by beckygardener - Aug 5, 2015 7:31 PM (+)]
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Name: Chuck
Gorham Maine (Zone 5a)
Hummingbirder Daylilies Garden Ideas: Level 1
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dogwalker
Aug 6, 2015 3:40 AM CST
Becky,
If I had picked up that monster, being the strong, fearless soul that I am, I would have needed a change of depends!
Life is a journey of adventure and discovery, sail bravely into each new day.
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds Ponds
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beckygardener
Aug 6, 2015 5:47 AM CST
Chuck - Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Well, I screamed and dropped it! Then realized what it was and picked it back up to closely examine it to determine what caterpillar species it was. I raise and release caterpillars/butterflies. We also do that in my classroom at school. (And my granddaughters loves them, too.) So I handle a lot of caterpillars. Most caterpillars around here though, don't get nearly as big as those moth caterpillars get! They are quite large and heavy compared to all others! They are really neat insects!

When I first started trying to attract hummingbirds to my yard, I saw those moths zipping around and thought for several weeks that they were hummers until I managed to get a photo of one and realized it was an insect, not a little bird. I didn't see my very first official hummingbird till a year later. Once I saw the difference in flight, I can tell which is which, but they sure fooled me until then! Hilarious! Hilarious!
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Garden Rooms and Becky's Budget Garden
Name: Teresa
South central KY (Zone 6b)
Consider the lilies of the field
Seller of Garden Stuff Irises Hostas Region: Kentucky Lilies Peonies
Region: United States of America Garden Photography Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Cat Lover Heucheras
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bluegrassmom
Aug 7, 2015 5:42 AM CST
I always look for them, but this year I have only spotted one. It was almost dusk, and I was out at the main daylily bed.
It was fluttering around to different daylilies and then flew away. It is always fun to catch a glimpse of them.

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