I saw a hummingbird moth!

johnCT(Z6 CT)August 2, 2005

I've never seen one of these before and I had no idea what it was. At first I thought it was a baby hummer, but it was awfully small and not afraid of me in the slightest. In looking at it closely, it had butterfly legs and a hairy tail section so I was hesitant to think it was a hummer. I guess they are an adult hornworm? Man, they better stay away from my tomatoes!!

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harryshoe zone6 eastern Pennsylvania

There's one we call "Humminglobster" because it flys like a hummer, but the hind end looks like a lobster tail. Loves the butterfly bush.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2005 at 9:48AM
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mimidi(z8)

John they just love those tomatoes plants.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2005 at 11:37AM
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penny1947(z6 WNY)

I saw two this year...my first time also.

Penny

    Bookmark   August 3, 2005 at 10:06AM
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lalunita

John I saw the same thing last week, in Ct, for the first time. It looked like a tiny hummingbird cuz its wings never stopped and they moved so fast I could see right thru them as if they wernt there.

It had it very looong prob. down in a phlox flower and let me get right up next to it as it went to flower to flower. The prob. let me know it was a moth and not a hummingbird but I was intrigued so typed hummingbird moth into google and found your post.

I got close enough to see that the tail was lobster like just as the other poster observed.

Anyone know what this creature really is????

Ive been hovering over the phlox but so far not another glimpsy.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2005 at 8:27PM
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Vickior(ct. zone 6)

John I live in Ct. too and I had one on Monday at my millon bells. After watching it for a little while I came to the computer to learn more about them. They are intresting little bugs, aren"t they
Vicki

    Bookmark   August 4, 2005 at 8:51PM
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Tropigal(z8/9 FL)

Phoenix moth.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2005 at 9:12PM
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johnCT(Z6 CT)

They are pretty neat. My wife saw it again yesterday at the petunias.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2005 at 7:15AM
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Fledgeling_(4b SD)

Theres quite a few species of hummingbird moths that utilize different hoast plants. in new york i saw the introduced spurge hawkmoth for biocontrol of leafy spurge(unsucessfuly with this particular insect) Why cant they find butterflies for biocontrol too?

    Bookmark   August 5, 2005 at 9:30AM
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stargazerlily00(z5 mo)

i see them every year that i have a moonvine in a flower bed. they are very interesting creatures. the ones i see are bigger around than a hummingbird. i have never seen them hit on anything but a moonvine.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2005 at 8:36PM
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wineandviolin(4 MN)

The moths are also called sphinx moths. And yep, they are from tomato hornworms. If you like the moths, you can grow a sacrificial tomato plant. Pick something really leafy, plant it away from the other plants and move the hornworms to it when you find them. It's work, but not much if you like watching the moths feeding at dusk and at night. They also really like daturas.
Hummingbirds don't fly at night, they go into a mini hibernation. The birds have such a fast metabolism that they would starve to death if they had to go more than a few hours without eating.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2005 at 11:53PM
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oubliette(z7 MS)

My brother called my yesterday morning and told me go come over to his house because he had lots of "baby hum-mingbirds". Sure enough, they were hum-mingbird moths. They were all over an ablelia bush.

Disclaimer:I do not agree with nor endorse the use of "Sponsored Links" possibly embedded in my posts by the owner of this or any other website.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2005 at 10:12AM
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Garden_Momma

I found this pic on the photography forum, is it what yours looked like? We had the tomato hornworms pretty good last year, this year saw evidence but couldn't find any. The hummingbird moths seem to like the phlox drummondi alot!

Here is a link that might be useful: hummingbird moth pic

    Bookmark   August 15, 2005 at 10:36PM
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standard65(z6/7 nashville)

I think I just saw one tonight for the first time, but it doesn't have the lobster tail. I was out in the driveway after 10 pm, looking at moonvine and 4oclock blossoms, when I thought I saw a hummer in the 4oclocks, but knew it couldn't be.
is this a kind of hummer moth?
it looks like it is creating 'lift' with the backstroke of its wings, like our little friends do.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2005 at 12:07AM
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boomer13

I just saw my first hummingbird moth. I too thought it was a baby hummer but couldn't explain the antennae and it also had the lobster like tail. I was surprised that it didn't fly away when I got closer to try to see what it was. It was going from flower to flower on a pink hanging geranium plant. How exciting! I live in Hamilton County, Indiana (near Indianapolis).

    Bookmark   June 22, 2007 at 9:16PM
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