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Author Topic: What is this animal that hovers like a hummingbird and eats nectar from plants?  (Read 54953 times)

Quantumcat

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I saw a weird thing flying around the lavander just now it's be cool if someone could tell me what it is. I took a photo but since I am deprived of a digital camera I'll have to wait until they're developped to show you. The thing is grey, the body about the size of half a length or a bit more of my thumb. The wings move so fast they're a blur, and they're grey with a patch of orange around the bottom. It has a short stubby wide black tail/extension of body with little white spots. It has two things sticking out of its head that look like antennae. It has a long beak/nose black that looks like a needle (about the length of two needles I think?) I couldn't see what its feet looked like. It can't be a butterfly, because I'm sure butterflies don't move their wings that fast, and it doesn't land on the flower to feed. (butterflies land to feed don't they?) It has things on its head that look like antennae so I guess it can't be a hummingbird (I'd so love to see one though) and anyway hummingbirds are meant to be bright colours right? It can't be a wasp because its body isn't segmented (all wasps have a segmented body don't they?) So, like, can someone tell me what it is ... oh yeah, and of course its habitat includes france :) south as well as central france because I saw one when I was in Bourges as well ... thanks in advance!!!

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« Last Edit: 24/06/2008 10:34:48 by chris »

Exodus

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I would suggest that what you are describing as seeing is one of the Hummingbird Hawkmoth family (see below)... look it up on the net, i'm sure you'll find plenty of info on it.



Laters.

chris

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Yes, I'd second that. I saw one whilst I was in south west France. I thought it was a hummingbird at first !

It's a moth.

Chris

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Predator_X

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Exodus is right. Hummingbirds flap their wings about a 100 times a second.

neilep

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Found this superb picture:



'Men are the same as women...just inside out !'

Savanah

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I saw this thing last night. That's what brought me to this website. It was very hummingbird like but I could tell it was an insect, so I just had to find some info. But, why is this the first time I have ever seen this thing?

neilep

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I saw this thing last night. That's what brought me to this website. It was very hummingbird like but I could tell it was an insect, so I just had to find some info. But, why is this the first time I have ever seen this thing?

WELCOME SAVANAH !!

It's quite and extraordinary beastie isn't it ?...can't say it's the type of thing one sees every day !


Hey !!...now that you're here...hope you're gonna stick around !!!

Karen W.

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It definitely looks like a moth.I agree with Chris! we have tons of hummers here, and that is not a humming bird!

dentstudent

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This is absolutely and without shadow of a doubt a hummingbird hawkmoth. We have them here in southern Germany - they are not uncommon at all. It's a great moth too eh?

Karen W.

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WOW they even named it after a humming bird cool! Are all of them that dull in color?? His wings have some color...

Karen W.

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Very cool Stuart! here is wiki's!

Macroglossum stellatarum

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Hummingbird hawk moth)

Hummingbird Hawk-moth

 



Scientific classification 
Kingdom:    Animalia
Phylum:    Arthropoda
Class:    Insecta
Order:    Lepidoptera
Family:    Sphingidae
Genus:    Macroglossum
Species:    M. stellatarum
Binomial name
Macroglossum stellatarum
Linnaeus, 1758

The Hummingbird Hawk-moth (Macroglossum stellatarum) is a species of hawk moth with a long proboscis, and is capable of hovering in place, making an audible humming noise. These two features make it look remarkably like a hummingbird when it feeds on flowers. It flies during the day, especially in bright sunshine, but also at dusk (Herrera, 1992), dawn, and even in the rain, which is unusual for even diurnal hawkmoths (Pittaway, 1993). Its visual abilities have been much studied, and it has been shown to have a relatively good ability to learn colours (Kelber, 1996).


dentstudent

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I saw this thing last night. That's what brought me to this website. It was very hummingbird like but I could tell it was an insect, so I just had to find some info. But, why is this the first time I have ever seen this thing?

Hi Savanah! Where abouts are you?

cinderfox

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this is too cool, me and my boyfriends sister saw one of these a couple months ago, and couldn't figure out what it was! we swore no one would belive us, and here it is!
I live in Nova Scotia, Canada, so they've made it all the way over here too!
just thought i'd let you know. :)

neilep

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this is too cool, me and my boyfriends sister saw one of these a couple months ago, and couldn't figure out what it was! we swore no one would belive us, and here it is!
I live in Nova Scotia, Canada, so they've made it all the way over here too!
just thought i'd let you know. :)

WOW !!!..well cool !!

WELCOME...YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY !!!!!

rebel123

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Regarding the hummingbird hawkmoth:  I was returning home this evening around 10:45 PM, when I noticed this strange tiny flying creature hovering above some of my flowering plants.  I pulled my car into the driveway turning the wheel to enter my garage.  I immediately stopped my car and walked around the front towards the mulchbed.  I was approximately 3 feet in distance from this little "thing".  It resembled a hummingbird, but upon closer examination I noticed it looked more like a some type of flying insect.  It was really quite creepy.  I tried to take a picture with my cell phone, to no avail.  The "little thing" hung aroud for about 45 seconds before flying off into the darkenss.  The illumination of my front yard lamp post aided in my observation.  I couldn't understand why a hummingbird would be feeding so late in the evening.  I immediately went into the house and told my husband what I had seen.  He was sure it wasn't a hummingbird, so I grabbed my laptop and started investigating.  I'm 99.9% certain the creature I observed was the Hummingbird Hawkmoth. The one I observed closely resembles the night photo on the web site.  The color was quite similiar to the one I saw as well.  How facinating! Are they rare?  Have others been spotted in Northern Virginia?  Does anyone know?   ???  I'm certainly happy to have found this site!  ~Stephanie Rebellino, Gainesville, Va

Andrew K Fletcher

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We used to have a visit every year from one of these amazing creatures. It used to feed on the lavender and fly around us, observing us as much as we were observing it. The moth appeared to look directly into your eyes as it hovered about. It visited us for about 3 days and then vanished until the next year, obviously a different moth but amazing thet the same species would visit us every year for 3 days. We saw another one while in a cafe garden in Buckfasteligh making 4 spotted in all. Probably the most amazing flying insect I have observed except for another master of the sky which as yet has not been identified.
http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=12424.0

Alan McDougall

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Yes other than a humming bird only this bat can hover

dalou

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I'm sure that I have seen the same creature in Kentucky just the other day (July 14, 7:15pm), only it was an bright green body. It was hovering, moving from flower to flower gathering nectar. I called for my daughter to witness it as well, so it was there for at least five minutes. I was able to get within 1.5 to 2 feet of it. Aside from the green body, its antenna were black and it almost to have tail feathers that were black as well.

If it is a moth, what a great imitation.

AllenG

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Yes other than a humming bird only this bat can hover
A kingfisher can hover as well.


Meerkat

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Hi All -
Found this site when I, too, saw a nectar eating insect on my honeysuckle vines around dusk each night.  I get hummers and butterflies during the day but only see this moth at dusk. Did a google search and came up with your site saying it is a Humminbird Hawkmoth - cool.   Mine seems a little different than the other photos posted but I live in the northern panhandle of Idaho so maybe this is a variation.  Can't figure out how to size down my photos of it.  When I tried to upload them to this post I get an error message saying my file size is too large.  Anyone know how to do this?

Meerkat

opus

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Last year I saw one in Tesco's, fluttering round the cereals!

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Kingsport, TN (northeast Tennessee, about one mile from Virginia)

Wednesday, 11 August, 2010 @ about 1:30 pm

imatfaal

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Great picture Ivstealth

Otrere

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I just came googled this bizarre looking thing as we spotted one in our garden last night - first time ever I've seen one!  And I found the answer on here straight away!  Thanks all!  :)

chegissing

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I saw a bright green (black and gold banding on tail) hummingbird hawkmoth in northern michigan yesterday...had at first thought it was a baby hummingbird but on closer inspection saw that although it moved like a hummingbird, it was shaped a bit like a crayfish! I learned what it was here on your site, thanks!

 

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