Last weekend we went shooting around Flagstaff, Arizona, and I saw something I’ve never seen before. In a field of Lupine I saw Hummingbird Moths, Hyles lineata. At first I thought they were hummingbirds, but a closer look told me they were actually moths. Not only do their wings beat like a hummingbird’s, but they fly like them too.
These moths, also called White-lined Sphinx Moths, are about two inches long and have absolutely no fear of people. They would feed just inches from my leg and act as if I wasn’t even their. It reminded me of some family get-togethers I’ve attended. I wanted to get some really nice shots of them, but Mother Nature had other ideas.
After taking a few photographs of the Lupine flowers a big storm cloud moved in. Holding my camera with one hand, and the attached tripod with another, I popped open the on-camera flash and took a few shots as I rushed to the car just ahead of the rain. While this photograph isn’t anything artistic, it’s still a nice shot of these amazing insects.
I’m going back to the area in a couple of days, and if they’re still there I’ll try to capture images that are more artistic.
Notice his/her very long tongue feeding on the flower.