Iss. 3 || March 29th, 2022

Hummingbird Moths

"Now the moth defeats the mouse and man
It's messing with the plan, it can't be believed
'Cause it's just a hummingbird moth
Who's acting like a bird that thinks it's a bee..."

- 'Bee of the Bird of the Moth' by They Might Be Giants


Two or three years ago, I was walking to class when I passed by a bush and a huge, buzzing something caught my attention. I stopped what I was doing and tried to get a handle on what I was seeing. I managed to snap a photo of it, and I tried to look up bugs that matched its description - a giant moth, with a super-fast wingbeat and a bright pink stripe. I found out that it was a hummingbird moth, and this realization got me super excited for a very silly reason. I had no idea that a hummingbird moth was actually a real animal. I knew them only from a song by my favorite band, They Might Be Giants.

This was a really special experience that I thought about a lot. I never expected that I would ever see one of these moths again. However, just a few days ago, I saw one outside our house. And then I saw another... and another one! I saw three of them in just about as many days! I don't really know why; I've never seen one here in ten years aside from the one on campus, and the few that showed up this week. But it makes me really happy.

Here's a picture of one of the moths I found outside my house. You can't see the pink stripe on him in this picture because his wings are closed, but it's there!

This is a better photo that shows what they look like! They're big and fuzzy, with these cool lines down the abodmen with black and white stripes. The antennae are really pronounced as well, and of course, there's that lovely pink stripe! This particular species is Hyles lineata, also called the White-lined Sphinx Moth. This is the species that I've encountered, and the one that I think of when I think of hummingbird moths.


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