CLOSED: What is *this* thing?

Leesburg, VA(Zone 7a)

Imagine, if you will, a miniature hummingbird with fuzz instead of feathers, the tail of a lobster/crawdad, big furry antenae, and a probiscus twice the length of its body. At first glance I assumed it was a baby hummingbird until I got closer on it and realized that it was ... some sort of a mutant insect! My first sighting was about 4 years ago and everyone accused my buddy and I of being stoned out of our gourdes when we would try to describe the beast I finally photographed last night.

(yeah, I know it's a moth of some sort, but what in god's holy name IS this thing???)

Thumbnail by BogweedBuck
Leesburg, VA(Zone 7a)

Another shot

Thumbnail by BogweedBuck
Portland, OR(Zone 8a)

I believe it's a Snowberry Clearwing - Hemaris diffinis. http://www.cirrusimage.com/moths_snowberry_clearwing.htm
Great shots of your moth. I never have a camera when these guys are buzzing around!!
I'm not for certain on the ID lets see what others come up with.

Leesburg, VA(Zone 7a)

Thanks for the link ... it lead me to a series of other webpages. It's a hummingbird hawk moth of some sort (the ones we have around here typically have *much* more green in them than the one I photographed yesterday)

Pretty trippy critter, eh?

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

I am so glad you posted this for an ID. I saw one of these just yesterday and wondered what it was. Now I know. :o)

Culpeper, VA(Zone 7a)

Aren't they wonderful? When I lived up in the mountains by the VA/WV border, we used to have a type that was maroon & bright chartreuse green visit our Rose of Sharon blooms.

Leesburg, VA(Zone 7a)

I'm having a hard time with the fact that I've spent almost 4 decades in gardens, meadows, deserts, forests, rainforests, etc. and have NEVER seen one of these until the past few years.

Leesburg, VA(Zone 7a)

Breezy ... that's exactly what the one that hangs around my neighbor's is like! The brightest darned green on the back!!!!

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Yes i have them also..they look like tiny hummingbirds....i used to call them hummingbird bees.

Santa Ana, CA(Zone 9b)

I think ours (in Orange County CA) are only shades of brown and black, but they do have "trippy" markings on the head area... if you catch them sitting still. I have a pic somewhere of one... someday I will get all my photos organized (yeah, right).

Never seeing something (that on reflection you know must have been there) and then seeing it ALOT must be a phenomenon with a name... but I don't know the name. Among my experiences of it: after twenty-some or thirty years of living in rural areas, I saw my first hummingbird SITTING. Now that I'm living in a fairly densely populated area -- I see them not infrequently. Do you suppose that hummingbirds SIT more often in the city? Or that my brain has learned the visual 'pattern' of a tiny bird on a branch or wire?

~'spin!~

Santa Ana, CA(Zone 9b)

You might peruse the Hummingbird and Butterfly forum (use search function on "moth" restricting to H&B forum?) for some outrageous stop-action photos of these guys... although I'm not sure I've ever seen the maroon & chartreuse green one!

~'spin!~

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

I have only seen them for about the past 2 or 3 years. They especially love my hibiscus and rose of Sharon blooms.

Leesburg, VA(Zone 7a)

The ones here seem particularly fond of the ubiqutous "Butterfly bush."

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