Hummingbird Moth

Hum Moth
Clearwing hummingbird moth on a short cultivar of monarda.

The first time I spotted a hummingbird moth, my brain could not believe my eyes.  Was it a baby hummingbird?  A bug?  Some weird cross between the two?  These beauties hover just like a hummingbird, and their favorite flowers are bergamot, also known as monarda or bee balm – but in general, they seem to visit the same types of flowers hummingbirds favor.

There are two types of hummingbird moths – clearwing and hawk.

The photos above and below are both examples of clearwing hummingbird moths – so named because the center of their wings are actually clear, like a pane of glass. The clearwing hummingbird moth shown below was spotted at a friend’s house in Westerville this week. And that makes sense, because the most likely time of year to spot a hummingbird moth in Ohio is July-August. During these months, they can be seen visiting flowers throughout the day and around dusk.

yellow hummer
Clearwing hummingbird moth spotted in Westerville, Ohio

The other type is called a hummingbird hawk moth.  Check out this short video I took of both types of hummingbird moths while on vacation in Hilton Head, South Carolina:

And be sure to keep your eye out for these winged beauties in your own flower garden!

Drawn to this story like a moth to a… well, you know…? Keep reading about Patty’s Retreat.

2 thoughts on “Hummingbird Moth

  1. Jeff Wood says:

    One of my favorites! The first time I saw one in Portugal I thought I had discovered some new kind of prehistoric creature. In Portugal the Hummingbird Hawk-moths love the lantana.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *