Thursday, July 21, 2011

What's this new critter flying around my bushes?

201/365 ~ Hummingbird Clearwing Moth
So my dad called me this afternoon and said, "I've got a critter I want you to take a picture of and help me figure out what it is. It looks like a bumblebee with hummingbird wings!" Okay, this I had to see. Sure enough that is what it looked like. It also looks like a flying furry lobster. I shot the photo and then went straight to Google. First I typed in Flying Insects in the photo section. Nothing that looked like this critter. Then I typed, "Flying insect that looks like a hummingbird" - BINGO! According to what I learned, it's not very common for this area so I'm thinking it might be on migration. I also learned that it is called a Hummingbird Clearwing Moth. A moth! WOW! It does love mom and dad's butterfly bushes! And it belongs to the family of sphinx moths, which are daylight fliers. Like most moths and butterflies, the hummingbird clearwing moth sips nectar through a coiled tube (proboscis) which extends from its mouth. This moth has a wingspan of 1-1/2" to 2-1/2" and feeds in mid-air while beating its wings at a rapid rate (just like a hummingbird).

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