Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Sphinx Moth or Hummingbird?

Sphinx Moth or Hummingbird Hawk Moth
Photo Credit: wikipedia
Another day has come and gone without getting on the water, but there are other things in nature to demand our attention. If it’s past sunset, perhaps even past twilight, and you see a hummingbird, chances are good it’s not a hummingbird at all, but a sphinx moth, also called a hummingbird hawk moth. Just like hummingbirds, they appear to be as fast as a shot, quick maneuvering, they hover in the air, have a long proboscis, and feed on nectar. You can spot them during daylight, but they seem to prefer the evening. If you like variety, keep watching, as there are supposed to be 1,450 different types.

Hornworm, the sphinx moth larvae, on Jean's Four O'Clocks.
The larvae of the moth, called hookworms, are easily spotted, because they are huge. We always find them on Jean’s Four O’Clocks, which they seem to love. When they are ready to produce a moth, they burrow into the ground for 2-3 weeks before they come out as a pseudo-hummingbird with an impressive 10cm wingspan.


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