What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

I’m in Sacramento, CA and saw a bug I’ve never seen before in the almost 40 years I’ve lived here. At first I thought it was a bumblebee, it was about the size of an overgrown bumblebee. It was orange-red however and from about 8 feet away it didn’t appear that it was a bumblebee covered in pollen. The orange-red color seemed to be its own. What was also different than a bumble
is that it flew smoothly, not the kind of haphazard way bumbles fly like they’re out of control. The wings were transparent and just behind the head. His body appeared heavy. He wasn’t shiny, he was fuzzy or hairy. The back portion of his body was large and elongated, and hung from his head in the shape of a comma. I’d estimate his body size to be about 1-1/2 inches long, and a good 1/2 inch wide. He didn’t seem to have any trouble flying, but he wasn’t super fast. It was about 8:00 pm in late July, and it was hovering around apple tree shoots coming from the old stump in my yard. I only wish I had a picture to show you. Any idea what it is? Thanks for your time.
Dawn

Dear Dawn,
My guess is a Sphinx Moth, maybe the Snowberry Clearwing Moth, (Hemaris diffinis) which is sometimes called a Bumble Bee Moth. This image is of a preserved specimen,
and the colors appear faded.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
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