Life On and Off an Acreage

In-sights into moving from an Acreage back to Town, plus a few things I find of interest.

Two things that horses are scared about:

1. Things that move
2. Things that don't move

June 23, 2011

Hummingbird Moth

 This is a moth that can do anything that a hummingbird can do, hence the name. 1/1000 of a second shutter speed just barely stops the wings.
I found him dining on our white lilac bush. He  is somewhat like the bumble bee, with a large body and like the bumble bee, should theoretically not be able to fly. Tell that to the moth!


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Hemaris is a Holarctic genus of sphinx moths, consisting of about 17 species living in the Holarctic[1], four of which fly in North and South America, three fly in Europe.[2] Their main host plants are herbs and shrubs of the Dipsacaceae (Teasel) and Caprifoliaceae (Honeysuckle) families. Moths in the Hemaris genus are collectively called Clearwing Moths or Hummingbird Moths in the US, and Bee Hawk-Moths inBritain.

Eggs are small, spherical, and pale glossy green in color.


The larvae are small, cylindrical, and granulose. The granules often have small bristles. While most larvae are green and brown, many color forms exist. All have a distinctive pale dorso-lateral longitudinal stripe from head to horn.
Pupae are enclosed in a loosely spun cocoon, and are glossy in most species. There is a prominent tubercle, or hook, alongside each eye. The cremaster is large, and flattened.
The imagos, or adults, are small, diurnal moths that resemble bumblebees in shape. They are often mistaken for hummingbirds, which is why their common name is hummingbird 
The forewings have hyalineareas or are fully scaled. The species with hyaline areas are initially with covered scales, but these are shed during their first flight. The antennae are strongly clubbed in both sexes, with a small recurved hook at the end. The abdomen ends in a large fan-tail of setae which resembles a lobster tail.
The genitalia of the male are asymmetrical, having the uncus divided and the two lobes subequal, heavily sclerotized with a rounded apex. The ostium bursae of the female is angled to the left.

So, now you know!


texwisgirl said...

they are the freakiest little things! cute and creepy too because you expect them to be a bird and they're a bug! you got some great shots of him!

Anonymous said...

Fantastic photo! Best of luck with the thumb from Terry Moondance. I have to comment as Anonymous because of sign-in problems.

Flora said...

That is amazing! Never heard of them before...

Mary said...

Well, like they say, 'learn something new every day! Thank you for the education!

Vilisi@islandmusings said...

This is interesting. I was on the island of Rarotonga (Cook Is.) once and I happened to walk by a bush and was so surprised to see a 'hummingbird'. But I was told it was a moth. Perhaps it was a hummingbird moth of sorts?
The white lilacs are beautiful. :)

Clint said...


peihome said...

Too cool! That first picture shows him perfectly!

*The Old Geezer said...

Fantastic photos and information! I learned something new today. Now I know! Until I forget :-)

Farmchick said...

We have them here in Kentucky, but I have to admit that they look kind of creepy to me!

Karen said...

Ian, those are great shots. I've never seen a moth like that and with translucent wings. Amazing.

luckybunny said...

Great pictures! This was the first year I've ever even heard of a hummingbird moth, they are really amazing!