One of the garden visitors that I especially enjoy seeing is the Hummingbird Clearwing (Hemaris thysbe) moth. These amazing fliers are like miniature hummingbirds, moving from flower to flower and hovering at each bloom as they search for nectar. Also called Hawk Moths, they are often attracted to phlox, and I photographed the moth below in the early summer as it visited woodland phlox (Phlox divaricata).
Recently, they have been regular visitors at the ‘Heatwave’ agastache. All of the agastache (pronounced ag-ah-STAK-ee as per Fine Gardening magazine) are popular with pollinators. For an account of bees at the agastache ‘Blue Fortune’ Giant Hyssop, follow this link to Bee Happy. ‘Heatwave’ is a little different from ‘Blue Fortune’, having long, tubular hot-pink flowers that the moths seem to find irresistable.
This passage is from a June, 2009 post. You can read the full entry here. Additional photos of moths at ‘Heatwave’ agastache follow.
Hummingbird Clearwing moths (Hemaris thysbe) are quite common and widespread. When you think of moths, the creatures that first come to mind might be the drab little characters that flutter around your porch light at night, but some moths fly by day. The Hummingbird Clearwing is also sometimes called a Hawkmoth, and is a member of the Sphinx moth family. Sphinx moths are fast, powerful fliers. The Hummingbird Clearwing has narrow wings with a dark band surrounding the translucent centre that gives this moth its name. Sphinx caterpillars are called hornworms because they typically have a short “horn” on their posterior end. Most hornworms don’t spin a cocoon but pupate in an earthen cell, built from leaf litter, just below the soil surface.