“Hummingbird” — White-lined Sphinx Moth

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Here’s something that will fool you.  Well, it’s fooled me more than once into believing that I was observing a bird rather than an insect.

This is a White-lined Sphinx Moth, known colloquially as a “Hummingbird Moth.”

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It really does resemble a hummingbird.  Its large and heavy body is not quite hummingbird size, but from a distance of a few yards the differences in size don’t appear to be all that much.  It has a very similar pattern of flight to that of a hummingbird; darting from one flower to the next and feeding while hovering.  Its wings, nearly frozen in this photograph, actually beat so rapidly that they create a blur very much like that which is created by a hummingbird’s wings when it is in flight or hovering.

These big moths have nearly a nationwide distribution and they are quite active in late summer months.  So, if you have a garden that is planted in flowers there’s a good chance that you will see one if you take the time to look.  These moths are most active at dawn and dusk.  Go out right at sunrise or sunset and look around.

Image made with a Canon 5DS-R, 180mm f3.5L Macro Lens assisted by Canon 600EX-RT Speedlite, M setting, ISO 160, f9 @ 1/160.

2 responses to ““Hummingbird” — White-lined Sphinx Moth”

  1. tkiiatmindspringcom says :

    I have never heard of this moth and it’s quite beautiful.

  2. Miriam Bruns says :

    Moths are not my favorites, but this shot is stunning!

    Miriam Bruns Miriambrunsatlanta@gmail.com 404.917.4535 Sent from my iPhone

    >

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