Hummingbird moths feast on ‘long-necks,’ delight gardeners

September 19, 2018

This hummingbird moth hovers above a pot of flowers on an East Huntingdon Township deck, its tiny wings beating furiously.

Their buzzing sound, tiny bodies and head first dip into flowers’ nectar leads many amateur gardeners to mistake a hummingbird moth for its namesake.

The colorful critters fly and move just like hummingbirds, and also like them can remain suspended in air while their long tongues dip into nectar, notes the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Plump, with a tail that fans out and rapidly beating wings, they are captivating critters who seek out long-necked flowers, like the ones in the photo above.

Their long tongues allow them access to flowers some other winged visitors cannot reach, federal Forest Service releases note.

The day-flying moths are common in North America, often most active in summer when they seek out phlox, beebalm, honeysuckle or verbena, according to the Department of Agriculture website.

Update hourly