Have you ever heard of a hummingbird moth? I hadn’t, until one day I saw this little creature that looked like a cross between a bee and a hummingbird buzzing around our Chaste tree. Luckily it didn’t mind me at all, so I was able to get a few pictures of them.
I really wasn’t sure what to think at first. It’s size and tail made me think of a hummingbird, but it had antennae. In person, the wings moved so fast that they were hard to see, just like a hummingbird, and it hovered more like a hummingbird than a bee. Fortunately, a quick Google search of “bee hummingbird” was all it took to find out more about this fascinating creature.
I’m a little surprised that I haven’t seen one before now. They are a bit rare, but tend to love honeysuckle, and our yard has lots of honeysuckle. I guess this one prefers the colorful purple blossoms of the chaste tree.
I’m pretty sure the one I saw is a Hemaris thysbe, or hummingbird clearwing sphinx moth. I am a little concerned, as hornworms are the larval stage for the hummingbird moth, and hornworms love tomatoes. All of our tomato plants are in the back yard while most of the big flowering plants are in the front, so hopefully that will help keep them away from the tomatoes. So far I haven’t seen any of the hornworm caterpillars near the tomatoes.
We absolutely saw a few of these huge caterpillars in the front yard earlier this spring, though. They’re kind of hard to miss. If I had known the awesomeness they turn into, I might have attempted to watch the process somehow.
Like this post? To make sure you never miss a future post, please sign up for my newsletter.