Hummingbird Hawk Moth

Look out for this extraordinary moth in your summer gardens. It hovers like a hummingbird but is actually a moth.

Look out for the Hummingbird Hawk Moth in your garden Image: Jean Vernon

Moths are also important pollinators. Many of them fly at night and pollinate the bright flowers that shine in the moonlight. Evening scented plants are a magnet for these creatures, wafting scent to advertise the rich nectar and entice them to feed. The night-flyers tend to be more drab in colour, so they are camouflaged against the trees and foliage and they use pheromones and scent to find their mate. Day flying moths are often more attractive and use visual cues to meet their mate.

Look out for the amazing Hummingbird Hawk moth that feeds as it hovers on longer tubular flowers like lavender and verbena. Don’t reach for the pesticides if you find caterpillars on your plants, most plants will thrive after some caterpillar pruning and many caterpillars are food for birds. Plus of course if you kill the caterpillars you won’t get the adult butterflies or moths.

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