Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes


What is it?

I am in the Phoenix area. Does anyone know what insect has the following characteristics?
- Has wings with the long shape and fast velocity of a hummingbird.
- Approximately 1/3 - 1/2 the size of a hummingbird.
- Has a long string-like proboscus (no beak) and antennae (thus, must be an insect, not a bird).
- Body has stripes (black, I think, hard to tell because it never stops flying).
- Loves to suck nectar from flowers.

If it weren't for the wing shape and velocity of wing flapping, I'd say it must be a large moth or butterfly. But I've never seen a moth or butterfly that flys like a hummingbird. It appears to have only two wings, not four like a dragonfly would have. It also has a body shape that is more like a hummingbird than an insect.

White-lined sphinx moth.
Nice description of the white-lined sphinx moth, Hyles lineata, which is abundant here in the southwest. Adults are day-active as well as nocturnal (often attracted to lights at night). The caterpillars sometimes become overwhelmingly abundant, crawling across roads en masse to reach more food plants on the other side.

 
Thanks!
Thank you, that is it alright! Mystery solved. And also explains why we have seen it twice, once at night flying about our outdoor floodlight, and once in broad daylight feeding on the flower nectar.

In the "search" box do a sear
In the "search" box do a search on a hummingbird moth.

Comment viewing options
Select your preferred way to display the comments and click 'Save settings' to activate your changes.