Home > Focus on Japan 2011, Nature > Hummingbird Hawk Moth

Hummingbird Hawk Moth

September 24th, 2011

I’ve seen these over time, and thought I blogged on it years ago, but apparently not. There is an insect which appears all the way from Western Europe to Japan which is large (about an inch and a half long by maybe just less than half an inch wide), brightly colored, and might fool you at first into thinking it’s a hummingbird. The insect hovers over flowering plants, moving just like a hummingbird might–stopping and even backing up in mid-air, and even making a humming sound as it does so. There are no hummingbirds in Japan, though, so it is a simple step from there to identify it as an insect. That plus the antennae.

Meet the Hummingbird Hawk Moth:



This one has been visiting our garden for the past couple of days.

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  1. Braxton
    September 27th, 2011 at 01:54 | #1

    I’ve seen a species of hummingbird moth here in Alabama. The ones I’ve seen have bee-like coloring and long fanned tails so we call them Lobster Bees.

  2. Luis
    September 27th, 2011 at 08:56 | #2

    “Lobster Bee” sounds very appropriate!

  3. Michael
    July 26th, 2012 at 14:29 | #3

    I have seen one of these guys around my house in NC. I thought it was a hummingbird. Guess it was a “lobster bee”.

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