Right around this time of year my lilac bush is ‘abuzz’ with all sorts of creatures. For days I’ve been trying to capture a photo of the beautiful swallowtail butterfly that is teasing me (oh, I will get you . . .) but in the meantime I caught this Hummingbird Clearwing frantically feeding. It’s quite the little creature. I would never confuse it with a hummingbird but I have to say it does remind me of one.
“This moth is often mistaken for a large bumblebee or even a small hummingbird when it hovers in front of a flower to sip the nectar. The Hummingbird Clearwing is a member of the family Sphingidae, the sphinx moths. It can be identified partly by the fact that it is active during the day where most other members of the family are nocturnal or active at night. It is also one of the smaller members of the family with a wing span of 4 to 5.5 cm. The wings are clear in the centre and have a broad brown border. Most people who see this moth for the first time have a problem trying to figure out just what it is. As stated earlier, it can be confused for a small hummingbird or a large bumblebee. Once people find out it is a moth they generally become quite fascinated by it and remember it! The larvae are seldom serious pests.” See the Royal Alberta Museum.