Tuesday, May 26, 2009

11th Bug Done! Hey, what is that!?

My scan didn't come out very accurate here, which is disappointing because the background has a whole bunch of different shades of green instead of just the two that are showing up here. I hate to say "It looks better in person" but... eh... it does. Maybe tomorrow I'll try to photograph it outside in the daylight...

Today's bug is another not-so-well-known bug. I had these all over my yard in Maryland in 2007 and 2008- they LOVE butterfly bushes!

Hey!!!1 That's no bug. That's a baby hummingbird! Wait, are those antennae? So it must be a bug. It looks soft and fuzzy like a bumble bee. But it has a proboscis like a butterfly. Is it a mutant butterfly!?
Wrong again.

It's actually a Moth!!

These closely mimic the color and movements of hummingbirds. They have olive green bodies with reddish brown stripes toward their fuzzy little bug butt. They're known as Hummingbird Clearwing Moths, part of the Sphinx and Hawk Moth family.

There is a close relative to the Hummingbird Clearwing Moth, called the Snowberry Clearwing. I know that name is ridiculously cute and adorable as hell, and no, I didn't make it up. It looks a lot like the Hummingbird Clearwing except the body is very yellow in color and its bands and wings are black instead of brown, mimicing a bumble bee.

Here is the collection of reference photos I used. I took these last summer, probably 20 or more pictures of the same little guy. These bugs are very tame and will let you get quite close without flying off.

Click here for a ton of other images of these Clearwing Moths... they are just so cute, I can't get enough, either.


Doris Sturm said...

Ok, all I can think to say of is: "Well, I never..." because I have never ever seen, nor heard, nor even imagined of such a creature. If I would have not learned it here, I would have thought is's an imaginary fantasy creature like, well, a unicorn?

This is amazing! And that's why I don't care about aliens because there are plenty of them here on earth...very lovely picture and informative post!
(I love learning new things!)
Thank you very much, Samantha!

Samantha G said...

I'm so glad I could share him with you!

I didn't know about them until a year or to ago, either! They are such a hybrid, aren't they? Fuzzy body of a moth, movements like a hummingbird, proboscis like a butterfly, wings sort of like a bee's.