Hummingbird Hawk Moth. Photo: George McCabe
George found this Hummingbird Hawk Moth in his house at Weymouth on 4/07/18 and says when he tried to catch it to put it safely outside, it played dead!
An immigrant species which sometimes occurs in large numbers, especially if there’s an extended period of warm weather or southerly airflow.
It flies in the sunshine and hovers in front of flowers, sipping the nectar with its long proboscis, very much like the hummingbird which gives it its name.
The larvae feed on bedstraw (Galium), and some of these may hatch and give rise to autumn adults in an influx year.
Keep your eye out for the Humming-bird Hawk-moth, which looks like a tiny humming bird.
Humming-bird Hawkmoth. Photo: Penny Hawes
A Humming-bird Hawkmoth photographed at rest in the grounds of Upton House back on 17/7/15. Please report your sightings of this species and the Painted Lady butterfly to Butterfly Conservation’s Migrant Watch Survey.
Painted Lady & Friend. Photo: John Van Crugten
Another excellent shot, this time showing a Painted Lady butterfly in the foreground with a Humming-bird Hawk-moth darting past in the background! Photographed on 19/09/2015.
If you have spotted either of these species, please report your sightings to Butterfly Conservation’s Migrant Watch Survey.
Hummingbird Hawkmoth on hyacinth. Photo: Richard Gillingham.
Hummingbird Hawkmoth photographed on 12/03 2015 by Richard Gillingham.
This is not a moth we’d be expecting to see at this time of year. Richard Gillingham says:
When I spotted the Humming-bird Hawk-moth in the garden, I rushed upstairs to fetch my camera but forgot to switch it to “Quick shutter” before taking the photos – so they are all far less than perfect!
I recalled the Portland Bird Observatory website had recently noted the sighting of a humming-bird hawk-moth and wanted photographic proof one had also visited Pymore. It circled at least 3 of our flowering hyacinths, drinking the nectar and was a sight I would normally only expect to see in the summer months. After c5 minutes it flew out of the garden, hopefully to find more flowering plants… Had it overwintered or was it just an early migratory arrival, I don’t know?
If you are interested in learning more about this moth in Dorset, have a look at our sister website from the Dorset Moth Group.