Tuesday, June 25, 2013

You Learn Something New Every Day

I've seen these little guys when I have been out and about in the flower gardens, but I kind of always assumed they were in the bee, wasp, hornet family.

It turns out they are actually a form of moth known as Hummingbird Moths...who knew?!  Well some of you probably knew, but I sure didn't.

They are quite large, and are often mistaken for hummingbirds because they feed and behave much like their avian counterparts.

They use their nifty little proboscis, the long needle like thing that comes out of their mouth, to collect nectar.  It curls up, like a coiled rope or hose, when it's not drinking nectar.

I remember the word proboscis from biology and botany/zoology classes way back in college, but had shoved it from my memory until I looked up these cool creatures today.

Apparently Hummingbird Moths love clear sunny days, which it certainly is today, albeit a hot and humid one.  The image above is my favorite, because I love the whirling of his or her wings, it creates a cool effect.

So today I learned something new...that moths come in all shapes and sizes...including one that acts and looks like a hummingbird!  Nature never ceases to amaze me.


  1. I have never seen one of these- fascinating, and great close-ups!

  2. Yes! I am familiar with them. They're big and you got some wonderful photos of them. Wowza.

  3. Oh what great photos, Kat! The first time I saw one of these I thought it WAS a hummingbird...

  4. Well, I just learned something new, too! They really are pretty and your pictures really capture that. Since they are moths, I would think they didn't sting, but I wouldn't want to find out! I am going to keep an eye out for them this summer.

    It is in the high 80's here but it feels so much hotter because of the high humidity. It makes me wilt when I go outside. It also zaps my energy!


  5. Amazing photos! I didn't know about this, either!

  6. I have seen those before and didn't know what they were for the longest time. You got some great pictures- xo Diana

  7. I guess I just learned something new too. I will be on a watch . . .

  8. How strange and beautiful - with that fluffy black tutu too.

  9. wow. great images! you really got the motions shots down perfectly!!

  10. You have just discovered one of my very favorite creatures! Hummingbird Moths are absolutely fascinating, and I have wasted a LOT of time over the years watching them flit from flower to flower in the garden. It looks like this moth is on Phlox, which is one of their favorite targets. Great images, Kat!

  11. I HAVE seen these,
    although the first time
    I thought it was some
    sort of scary bug. But
    they do have their own
    kind of beauty, don't
    they? Super shots, Kat!

    xo Suzanne

  12. Wow!!! What amazing photos. I too would have thought them in the bee wasp family.

    - The Tablescaper

  13. Love the wings. I didn't know that either about moths. How big is it? I'm not sure what the flower is so I couldn't judge the size of the moth. It looks like a phlox so I'm assuming it is smaller than in the photos.


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