About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Hummingbird moth life cycle

Photo from Wikimedia Commons
Moths in genus Hemaris are known collectively as clearwing moths or hummingbird moths in the US and bee hawk-moths in Britain. Its long proboscis and its hovering behavior, accompanied by an audible humming noise, make it look remarkably like a hummingbird while feeding on flowers.

The females entice the males with an aroma or pheromone that they produce from glands at the tip of the abdomen. After mating, they lay their tiny, round, green eggs on their larval food plants, usually on the underside of the leaves. The caterpillars have a horn at the rear end and are commonly green, well camouflaged among the leaves.

When they are fully-grown they drop to the ground, spin a loose cocoon and pupate, partially protected by leaf litter to shelter this beautiful pollinator. In the north, where the season is short there is only one generation per year; the pupa spends the whole winter well-hidden and the adult does not emerge until the next spring. In the south, there is usually more than one generation each summer.

Related Articles:
-Tiger moths: What is that white moth with black spots?: http://bit.ly/rtneuz
-A Very Tiny Hummingbird (Moth)?: http://bit.ly/qtrAaV
-Moth With Twelve Inch Tongue: http://bit.ly/pcs0TV
-Why did I take a picture of bird poop?: http://bit.ly/o9APHb
-Where does the Woolly Bear go in the winter?: http://bit.ly/pB5L4V

1 comment:

Jan said...

Why did you not name the larval food plant? It could be helpful to plant or encourage the natural growth of these food sources.