Hummingbird Moth facts: also known as hawk moths | Animal Fact Files

today on animal fact files we're talking

about hummingbird moths flutter or that

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episodes thank you to putana for today's

request hummingbird moths are also known

as hummingbird hawkmoth clear wing moths

and B Hawk moths they're most commonly

mistaken for hummingbirds but they can

look like bees as well we actually saw

one while we were working on this

episode and thought it was a bee before

hummingbird even crossed our minds but

that's because we live where larger

hummingbirds are commonly found and this

particular individual was rather small

while hummingbird moths averaged about a

two inch wingspan some species of

hummingbird mods may have a wing spans

of more than five inches considering the

smallest hummingbirds wingspan is just

over two inches long and most other

species average five or fewer inches in

length it's understandable why these

birds and arthropods get confused heck

hummingbird moths even fly and eat like

hummingbirds by darting around and

hovering in front of flowers some

species are even capable of flying

backwards just like a hummingbird

hummingbirds however are only found in

the Americas while hummingbird moths can

be found all over the world if you live

anywhere besides the Americas and see an

animal that looks like a hummingbird in

all likelihood it's a hummingbird moth

if you do live in the Americas you can

usually tell the difference by color

since hummingbirds tend to be more

iridescent the beak since birds can't

curl theirs or the wings since

hummingbird moths obviously don't have


you could also count their legs because

even if you're one of those people who

believes hummingbirds don't have legs

you can always count on a hummingbird

moth having six hummingbird moths drink

nectar from flowers and usually pick the

long tubular kind like honeysuckle and

bee balm of course that's only half the

story since hummingbird mouths don't

start out with wings the other common

name for hummingbird moths hornworms

comes from their larval stage we were

actually more familiar with this stage

of these arthropods than we were with

the adult stage before we even started

researching is it the same for you horn

worms get their name from the pointy

part of their rear end which doesn't

present any threat

even though it looks a bit imposing

they're usually green in color to help

them blend in with their surroundings

but they can come in many colors to

adult female hummingbird moths will

attract the attention of a male using

pheromones after mating she'll lay her

round green eggs on the underside of

leaves the larvae enjoy eating these can

include honeysuckle Hawthorne's and even

Tomatoes which is in part why some

species are considered pests it takes

about a week for the eggs to hatch and

the larvae will grow molting a few times

before preparing themselves for their

transformation into an adult moth after

living about a month as caterpillars

they'll drop to the ground and create a

cocoon some burrow under the ground

while others just stay in a layer of

leaf litter usually within a few weeks

they'll emerge as adult moths though it

can take longer depending on location

and time of year how long hummingbird

moths can live it really depends on the

species as well as when they were born

Mazda hatch an early spring likely have

a longer pupil stage that has to

overwinter as compared to those that

hatch in late summer and develop faster

in warmer temperatures generally

speaking less than a year's the average

for the entire lifecycle of these moths

for more facts on hummingbird moths

check out the links in the description

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