A resource for Hummingbird Moth
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Laurel Sphinx Moth
So you think you saw a baby hummingbird, but you just couldn't explain those antennae. Did you even think maybe nature gives baby hummingbirds feathers that mimic antennae to disguise the vulnerable baby? Maybe they fall off when they get to a certain age... NOT!!

What you saw was probably one of these little guys; moths from the Sphingidae family. We often see these White-lined sphinx moths on a late August evening. They come in flocks, playing "follow the leader", zipping from one clump of phlox to the next. They range in body length from 3/4" to about 2" and are in the same family as the Hummingbird Clearwing moth (one of two members of family Sphingidae that actually carries the name "Hummingbird")
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White-lined Sphinx Moth
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Hummingbird clearwing (Hemaris thysbe)
In your internet travels you may notice that people often call the White-lined sphinx moth moth "THE Hummingbird Moth". Technically, only two members of the Sphingidae family actually include the word "Hummingbird" in the common name: Hemaris Thysbe - the "Hummingbird Clearwing" (pictured here) and Macroglossum stellatarum - the "Hummingbird Hawk Moth". But on a more realistic note, it is also not uncommon to hear all moths in family Sphingidae called "Hummingbird Moths" . This is due to their common characteristic of feeding while hovering.

This is also a Hummingbird Clearwing (Hemaris thysbe). This was the first Sphingidae family member we ever saw. At first we were just like you - thoroughly convinced this was a baby female ruby-throated humminbird, but we just couldn't explain away those antennae! He mimics the hummingbird perfectly; wings just a blur, zipping here and there. He appears from June through August; feeding at our phlox at midday, always alone. He is oblivious to people, allowing us within inches; but refuses to pose for the camera very long. These pictures are close-ups; the actual body length of this moth is about 3/4".

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Picture courtesey Rodger Fowler

More on Hummingbird Moths

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Other Hummingbird Moth Photos on the Internet

(the photos in these page links are the property of others,
so look, but please observe all copyright laws!)
Hummingbird Moths in Your State:
click on your State, then click the family "Sphingidae"
Derek Hilton's Snowberry Clearwing Photos (some of the best we've seen!)
Russ Toews' Hummingbirdmoth Photos (includes a video!)
P. Mutalik's Pictures
More of P. Mutalik's Pictures
More of Priscilla's Garden
Thomas Hogan's Page
Snowberry Clearwing, aka the Bumblebee Moth
British hawkmoth picture gallery
Hyles euphorbiae in North America
Sphingidae of Australia
Sphingidae of British Columbia, Canada
Sphingidae of Estonia
Sphingidae of Finland and the World
Sphingidae of Jamaica
Sphingidae of Norway
Sphingidae of the French Antilles
Sphingidae of the Philippines
Sphingidae of Poland
Sphingidae of the western Palaearctic
Sphingidae of Sonora, Mexico
Sphingidae of Southeastern Arizona, USA
Sphingidae of Switzerland
Sphingidae of Venezuela
Gabe's Backyard
Desert USA
Experiments on the Flight of the Hummingbird Moth
Royal BC Museum
Julianna Fogg's Photos
Animals of the Rain Forest
D. Knesek's Photos

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