Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Guess Who Came To Dinner

The other evening while inspecting my gardens, my daughter and I noticed the wierdest half moth / half hummingbird freak of nature drinking nectar from my Ryan's Pink Chrysanthemum plant. I scopped up my baby and raced inside for the camera. Luckily it was still there happily drinking away. I was able to snap a few pics before it flew away.

Later that night I scoured the Internet for this species. You'll never believe it, it was a five-spotted hawk moth (aka sphinx moth or hummingbird moth). If this still means nothing to you, remember those pesky tomato hornworms I was so busy killing earlier this year? Well the five-spotted hawk moth is the tomato hornworm all grown up. Fancy that!

I came across several websites praising the beauty of moths in general, and five-spotted hawk moths in particular. I learnt that moths are nighttime pollinators as butterflies are daytime pollinators. Pretty important huh. This tidbit later influenced my perception of the five-spotted hawkmoth...I suddenly found them more beautiful. Don't get me wrong, they're no ruby-throated hummingbird or monarch butterfly, but there's something to be said for a creature that can go either way. It had the markings and wing span of a moth but the stealth of a hummingbird. Who knew. But don't take my word for it, take an evening stroll around your own garden and keep your eyes out for one.

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