what is this large, hovering nectar seeker
July 13, 2009
In northern Virginia, we occasionally see this large hovering insect? hovering over our butterfly bush. We thought upon casual looks that it was a hummingbird, –obviously not!
Thanks for any help
George Nossaman
Clifton, VA
Hi George,
Mistaking the Hummingbird Clearwing Moth, Hemaris thysbe, is a common mistake.  You may read more about this fascinating moth on Bill Oehlke’s awesome website.

July 15, 2009
Many thanks for the help.   Guess I’ve got to get a book on bugs, and begin to bone up on these critters.   Here’s a shot later in the afternoon, where I caught the moth in flight.   He’s either curling or uncurling that long tongue.  Fascinating!

Hummingbird Clearwing Moth

Hummingbird Clearwing Moth

Thanks for the update George, and the additional photo.

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