Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Amazing Hummingbird Clearwing Moth

I was mowing the lawn when I spotted this odd creature sipping nectar from my Tall Garden Phlox. It paid me no mind, so I stopped and got out my camera:

I already knew what it was, for I had encountered them previously. I still remember the first time I saw one. It looked and acted like a tiny hummingbird, but I knew enough zoology to know better, so I took a closer look and discovered it was an insect. Later, I looked it up and discovered it was a Hummingbird Clearwing Moth, Hemaris thysbe:

Truth be told, their abdomen always reminds me of a crayfish. Checking the internet, I discovered that I am not the first one to think so:

But they are pleasant creatures, adding a bit of beauty and wonder to an already marvelous world:

In this photo you can see its "tail" which looks to most folks like a hummingbird's tail but reminds me of a crayfish:

Here you can see its proboscis, with which it probes flowers and obtains nectar:

The moth was unafraid of me or the lawn mower, but I had a lot more mowing to do. So I put my camera away and continued with the job at hand:

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