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.
Life is a journey of adventure and discovery, sail bravely into each new day.
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.
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.
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
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:
Chuck - 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!
Name: Teresa Felty Barrow South central KY (Zone 6b) Consider the lilies of the field
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.