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Hummingbird Moth

(September 2010)

QuestionEarly in the evening, there is an insect (moth?) that comes to visit my night-blooming plant. It is about the size of a hummingbird and doesn't visit earlier in the day. Can you tell me what that is?


AnswerIt is actually a type of sphinx moth. There are several species. The common names are Hummingbird moth or Hawkmoth. They do look almost like a hummingbird as they flit from flower to flower. Since they are a moth, they are out late in the day. Hawk moths have the world’s longest tongues of any other moth or butterfly and can be great pollinators. As interesting as the moth is to watch, the brown spotted hawkmoth’s larvae is the dreaded tomato hornworm!

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