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Old 09-22-2023, 09:23 AM
 
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I saw one last night, about dusk, flitting amongst my flowers. At first, I thought I was seeing a hummingbird, but after studying it a bit, realized it wasn't a bird at all. But it was pretty cool to see anyway.

These are generally known as Hummingbird Hawk-moths, Clearwing Hummingbird Moths and the White-lined Sphinx. Turns out, a couple of the species are plentiful in Missouri (where I live) but until last night, I'd never seen one before. I have no idea which species I saw...but here's a picture...hope the link works...

https://www.bing.com/images/search?v...t=0&ajaxserp=0
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Old 09-22-2023, 03:01 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SnazzyB View Post
I saw one last night, about dusk, flitting amongst my flowers. At first, I thought I was seeing a hummingbird, but after studying it a bit, realized it wasn't a bird at all. But it was pretty cool to see anyway.

These are generally known as Hummingbird Hawk-moths, Clearwing Hummingbird Moths and the White-lined Sphinx. Turns out, a couple of the species are plentiful in Missouri (where I live) but until last night, I'd never seen one before. I have no idea which species I saw...but here's a picture...hope the link works...

https://www.bing.com/images/search?v...t=0&ajaxserp=0
Their larvae are tomato horn worms which can be a serious pest to some crops. The larvae and moth are quite common where I used to live in CA. Whenever I would plant tomatoes in my garden they would almost always get the larvae at some point and the larvae can make an entire plant almost disappear overnight. They are so well camouflaged they are hard to see on a plant. The moth lays eggs, the eggs hatch and they chomp on the plant until it's pretty much gone. Then they pupate and turn into more moths.
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Old 09-22-2023, 10:31 PM
 
Location: So Cal
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I've never heard of them, let alone seen one! Wow. ^^(I grew up in California [still here] and we would grow tomatoes. We did have the tomato worms.)
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Old 09-23-2023, 06:52 AM
 
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I had two of them the other day. The hummingbird kept chasing them off the honeysuckle plants.

Last edited by reubenray; 09-23-2023 at 07:51 AM..
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Old 09-23-2023, 07:05 AM
 
Location: NE Mississippi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SnazzyB View Post
I saw one last night, about dusk, flitting amongst my flowers. At first, I thought I was seeing a hummingbird, but after studying it a bit, realized it wasn't a bird at all. But it was pretty cool to see anyway.

These are generally known as Hummingbird Hawk-moths, Clearwing Hummingbird Moths and the White-lined Sphinx. Turns out, a couple of the species are plentiful in Missouri (where I live) but until last night, I'd never seen one before. I have no idea which species I saw...but here's a picture...hope the link works.............
Dusk is the only time I see them.
We have them here in Mississippi. They are attracted to the zinnia flowers, which have done very well this year. We're having a bit of a drought, but it doesn't seem to affect zinnias much.


Hummingbirds must be getting ready to move south; they are very active. I saw one working over a swarm of gnat-like insects. The light was just right and I could see the swarm. She was just hovering in the air snapping them out of the swarm, and eating them like they were popcorn.
I also encourage dragonflies by providing them with a small pond with cover. We have about 6-8 species and they are plentiful this year. Dragonflies snap up mosquitoes by the dozens every day.
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Old 09-23-2023, 07:53 AM
 
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Our three regular hummers were steady fighting off 8 to 10 transit hummers the last few days.
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Old 09-23-2023, 08:31 AM
 
Location: Southern MN
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This year I finally, as an afterthought, remembered to plant some 4 o'clocks in a large pot. As a kid I remember sitting in the back yard with Mom and Dad after supper and watching the Sphinx moths take advantage of the border of them he used to plant around his garden.

After reading about the horned tomato worms I think how convenient for them. Go from tomatoes to flowers all in one place. Wonder if he knew.

We get the striped Sphinx ones here. They are beautiful shades of buff and peach.

They come late in the summer and disappear shortly thereafter here.

I remember Mom pointing out that his proboscis, that long syphon coming out, curled into a spiral to fit back into his mouth area. An amazing little miracle of design.

The backyard has been a regular dogfight of hummingbirds the last couple of weeks. I'm mystified how sugary drinks can fuel all the energy those little birds must need.
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Old 09-23-2023, 08:47 AM
 
Location: Southern MN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Listener2307 View Post
I also encourage dragonflies by providing them with a small pond with cover. We have about 6-8 species and they are plentiful this year.
Wish we had some here. Not seen many all summer. I have a small pond also but never draw dragonflies.

But you reminded me of a funny story from a couple of weeks ago. Emma cat caught a chipmunk and as is her habit, brought it through the cat door to show me.

I put on gloves and took it away from her, opened the back door to let it out. He chirped and scooted out toward the rock garden/pond with her in hot pursuit. I watched him race to the edge of the pond and then in desperation take the leap straight into the pond and light-foot it across the lily pads to the other side to disappear into some lily of the valley. Bet he didn't know he could do that!

Ms. Em barely managed to put on the brakes before she took a dip. LOL.
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Old 09-23-2023, 08:49 AM
 
Location: Middle of the valley
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Yes, they are adorable. Until I learned this year that they produce horn worms, and ours grow to the size of ponies and will fight you for a tomato plant.

I was traumatized.
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Old 09-23-2023, 09:08 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Mikala43 View Post
Yes, they are adorable. Until I learned this year that they produce horn worms, and ours grow to the size of ponies and will fight you for a tomato plant.

I was traumatized.
I can understand the trauma

Once you see those huge horned evil looking worms (caterpillars) chomping away at a plant, then you learn it's the same creature as the innocent large moth, more than one person I'm certain has been left shocked.

Sometimes reality is indeed stranger than fiction.

I haven't seen any where I currently live which is more than fine with me. I do have hummingbirds, dragonflies, and the most lovely butterflies here of many species. I always plant zinnias to attract the butterflies and hummingbirds all summer into fall.
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