Have You Ever Seen a Hummingbird Moth in Your Garden?
When it comes to big bugs, everyone seems to be talking about murder hornets – and fortunately, we won't likely be seeing those here in northern Colorado. But there is another huge insect in our area that you could come across.
They aren't incredibly common to see, but according to research done by CSU, there are more than 30 species of hornworms in Colorado, which then turn into hummingbird moths (also known as sphinx or hawk moths) as adults. In caterpillar form, they are among some of the largest larvae in Colorado, and in their adult stage, these insects remain large.
Hummingbird moths can be confused for the bird of the same name because of how alike they look, both creatures even similarly hover to feed on nectar from deep lobed flowers. I actually thought the one I saw was a hummingbird, until I looked closer and realized it was an insect. They can range from 2 to 2.5 inches long and their rapid wing movement creates humming and buzzing noises.
The moth in the video is a white-lined sphinx, and based on CSU's science department, is by far the most commonly encountered hummingbird moth in Colorado.