Not a Hummingbird, Right?
November 2, 2015
My brother in Alabama just sent me these two photos with the simple query, “Not a hummingbird, right?”
The photos were taken with his cell phone this past weekend.
I replied saying correct, they are commonly known as hummingbird moths.
At first I assumed it was a White-Lined Sphinx Moth but when I shared some of my photos with him, I realized his moth has no white stripes.
I still think it is a sphinx moth, I just can’t pin the ID down any more accurately than that.
Is this something you can assist me with?
I had open-heart surgery this summer, so missed a lot of garden and bug time.
Surgery went well and I’m recovering nicely, getting back into the swing of things.
I do have some wonderful photos to share with you for your website if you choose to do so.
Should be an enjoyable winter project for me to send those along …
Wanda J. Kothlow
This is a diurnal or crepuscular Sphinx Moth in the family Sphingidae, and members of this family are easily confused with hummingbirds. There is one species, Hemaris thysbe, that also goes by the common name of Hummingbird Moth, but that is not your species. This is most assuredly NOT a Whitelined Sphinx. Though there is not much detail in your brother’s image, we will nonetheless attempt to research its species tomorrow.
P.S. Have a swift recovery. We have had several close friends and family members that survived open heart surged and returned to greatly improved lives. Feel free to send us your interesting images, but please use our standard submission form that can be accessed by clicking the Ask What’s That Bug? link on our site.
Any further luck trying to find a more specific identification for this Sphinx Moth?
I re-attached the photos so you would not need to search for them …
Hi again Wanda,
There is not enough detail in the images, because of the blurry representation of the rapidly moving wings. Tell your brother to browse through the species listed as occurring in Alabama on the Sphingidae of the Americas site to see if he can find one that most resembles what he saw.