Not a butterfly but I really am fascinated by hummingbird moths. I plan to plant some host plants this fall and I was wondering, does anyone know where to find caterpillars for sale to raise and release?
Depending on your region, it would be a lot easier to plant host plants and attract the moths that way.
Hummer moths use pretty much the same nectar plants as Hummingbirds (Salvia, Agastache, etc).
Depending on the species, Snowberry (Snowberry Clearwing) and Honeysuckle, as well as Viburnum (Hummingbird clearwing)
work great as hosts.Grape and Virginia Creeper also bring in some different species, such as the White Lined Sphinx and others. And of course, the easiest to attract, there is the famous Tomato Hornworm Sphinx.
Oh WOW! Thanks Leafhead for responding...I saw a Hummingbird moth for the first time in my garden about a month ago. I was so excited! Now I know why....I have 3 snowberry bushes! I bought them because I liked the pink berries, not realizing they were a host plant! (sorry for all the exclamation points, but I'm very excited :)
I'm going out right now to inspect the bushes - maybe I'll see some cats!
Good luck finding some late cats, but they should be going into the ground to pupate for the Winter very soon.
I can hardly express the excitement of my first sighting up here in Madison, WI!! (Like seeing a Monarch or Atala Butterfly for the first time.)
My neighbors had never seen anything like it either. Now they look for them:-)
Does anyone know if any type of honeysuckle will work? I just purchased a dropmore scarlett trumpet honeysuckle
I think any type will work, but native is always best.
I always go native when I can. Unfortunately no one has any native honeysuckle in my neck of the woods right now and I needed to get this planted so I can mulch for colder temps. (Most people look at me like I have three heads when I tell them I'm looking for things like milkweed and honeysuckle haha)
Sounds good to me:) Any honeysuckle should work, esp as a nectar source for real hummers as well as a host for Hummingbird Clearwings.
(People often look at me cross-eyed when I offer to take home their stinging nettles hahaha!!)
And please don't forget nectar plants. I enjoy visits of both types of Hummingbird moth most of the summer. I don't have their host plants but they nectar each day on various blooming plants. They especially enjoy Butterfly Bush, Lantana and Verbena bonairiensis here in my area.
Usually grown as an annual, the Verbena bonairiensis roots overwinter here and begin to put out new growth very early in the spring, so I have blooms of this plant quite early. All the butterflies, moths and bee's love these little blooms.
hummingbird moth feeding on the bloom of Verbena bonairiensis