The hummingbird moth that is commonly mistaken for a hummingbird:
The Hummingbird moth (Macroglossum stellatarum) is a species of hawk moth with a long proboscis, and is capable of hovering in place, making an audible humming noise. These two features make it look remarkably like a hummingbird when it feeds on flowers. The forewings of the hummingbird moth are brown and the hind wings are orange. The wingspan is 50-58 mm.
The adult hummingbird moth may be encountered at any time of the year, especially in the south of the range and two or more broods are produced each year. They fly during the day, especially in bright sunshine. The larva is green with two stripes along the sides and the horn at the rear end typical of sphingids. The hummingbird moth usually feeds on bedstraws and madders but has been recorded on other plants including Aster,Centaurea, Petunia, Phlox, Sage and various thistles.
The hummingbird moth is distributed throughout the Northern Hemisphere but is resident only in warmer climates. The hummingbird moth is strongly migratory and can be found virtually anywhere in the hemisphere in the summer. However it rarely survives the winter in northern latitudes (e.g. north of the Alps in Europe).
|Hummingbird hawk moth|
Photo taken by Mintguy
Author grants permission to use under GFDL.
Hummingbird moth and a hummingbird on the same butterfly bush
click on the play button below to see video of a Hummingbird moth