5 Interesting Facts About Hummingbird Moths

Hummingbird moths can easily be mistaken for hummingbirds because they look and act similar. Learn more about what makes these pollinators unique.

Hummingbird moth sips nectar from a purple flower.Courtesy Roger Hatley
A hummingbird moth sips nectar in North Carolina.

Hummingbird Impersonators

At a glance, hummingbird moths can easily be mistaken for their namesake. Four species in the sphinx moth family are called hummingbird moths. The two most common garden fliers are also known as snowberry clearwings and hummingbird clearwings. Learn more about sphinx moths that may visit your garden.

Active at Night

If you spot a hummingbird-sized flier zip through your garden late at night, you’re probably looking at a hummingbird moth. These moths are active both day and night, so plant flowers that bloom after dark like moonflower to attract them.

Hover Like a Hummingbird

Hummingbird moths have a tail that opens like a fan when they’re hovering in the air to collect nectar from flowers, just like hummingbirds. They also have clear patches on their wings. You need to see these stunning hummingbird photos.

Attracted to Flowers

Plant phlox, bee balm or any other pollinator favorites in your flower garden to attract hummingbird moths. Like butterflies, hummingbird moths have a long proboscis 
to sip nectar
. This is how to tell the difference between moths and butterflies.

Furry and Fuzzy Features

Hummingbird moths have thick, fuzzy antennae that are wider at the top. Long hairs, not feathers, cover most of the body. They also have six legs, like all other insects. Psst—these bugs are good for your garden.