please identify this creature


We have a huge butterfly bush outside our bedroom window. There is a little critter that is the coloration of a bumble bee, but is oddly shaped. My wife thinks it is a hummingbird, but we can't find one that is yellow and black in our bird book. It is very small and kind of long. Any ideas?
Thank you so much!


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Staff member
PREMO Member
Is this what you saw?


There are several sphinx moths (Family Sphingidae) that look and behave very much like hummingbirds. These moths, called "clearwings" or "hummingbird moths," are unusual in that most have wings that are transparent because they lack scales. The moths flap their wings rapidly and can hover just like a hummingbird.

Hummingbird moths are also unusual in that they are diurnal, so they're often seen feeding on flowering plants during daylight hours. At right is the Hummingbird Clearwing (Hemaris thysbe), which even has small structures on the end of its abdomen that resemble a hummingbird's flared tail. To make the masquerade even more complete, when the moth uncoils its proboscis to feed on nectar, it looks very much like the long straight bill of the hummingbird.