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Insect and Spider Identification: SOLVED: What is *this* thing?

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Forum: Insect and Spider IdentificationReplies: 12, Views: 6
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BogweedBuck
Leesburg, VA
(Zone 7a)

August 25, 2005
2:25 PM

Post #1718685

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
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BogweedBuck
Leesburg, VA
(Zone 7a)

August 25, 2005
2:26 PM

Post #1718686

Another shot

Thumbnail by BogweedBuck
Click the image for an enlarged view.

GardenGuyKin

GardenGuyKin
Portland, OR
(Zone 8a)

August 25, 2005
2:45 PM

Post #1718728

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.
BogweedBuck
Leesburg, VA
(Zone 7a)

August 25, 2005
3:01 PM

Post #1718758

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?
htop
San Antonio, TX
(Zone 8b)


August 25, 2005
3:26 PM

Post #1718813

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)
Breezymeadow
Culpeper, VA
(Zone 7a)

August 25, 2005
3:29 PM

Post #1718821

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.
BogweedBuck
Leesburg, VA
(Zone 7a)

August 25, 2005
3:29 PM

Post #1718825

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.
BogweedBuck
Leesburg, VA
(Zone 7a)

August 25, 2005
3:30 PM

Post #1718828

Breezy ... that's exactly what the one that hangs around my neighbor's is like! The brightest darned green on the back!!!!
levilyla
Baltimore, MD
(Zone 7a)

August 25, 2005
3:47 PM

Post #1718865

Yes i have them also..they look like tiny hummingbirds...i used to call them hummingbird bees.
crystalspin
Santa Ana, CA
(Zone 9b)

August 25, 2005
4:01 PM

Post #1718909

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!~
crystalspin
Santa Ana, CA
(Zone 9b)

August 25, 2005
4:04 PM

Post #1718918

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!~
htop
San Antonio, TX
(Zone 8b)


August 25, 2005
5:03 PM

Post #1719057

I have only seen them for about the past 2 or 3 years. They especially love my hibiscus and rose of Sharon blooms.
BogweedBuck
Leesburg, VA
(Zone 7a)

August 25, 2005
6:11 PM

Post #1719219

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

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Other Insect and Spider Identification Threads you might be interested in:

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