Hummingbird Hawk-moth – New Garden Species

New garden species, sort of…. well not really! We have seen these guys before, normally out of the corner of our eyes and certainly before we got anywhere near a camera. But this time we were finally, after years of hoping, in the right place at the right time to film one of these amazing migrants moths.

Hummingbird Hawk-moth 10th August 2022

So good people of Brislington and Bristol, be on the look out as more may be about. August is known to be a good month to see them…

However they should not be mistaken for Bee-flies (opposite) which are a relatively common resident and not closely related at all, being a True Fly – Diptera, rather than a Moth – Lepidoptera.

Hummingbird Hawk-moths can travel from as far as North Africa, which is pretty impressive and there seems to be some suggestion they can survive in the South West of England over winter in mild years (See Reference material number 12 HERE). At least one Wildlife Trust has recorded them breeding in recent years on their reserves, where larvae are usually found on species of Bedstraw.

So, what are they doing in the Wildlife Garden, well actually nothing more than visiting, stopping off briefly at the Buddleia for a energy top-up. We don’t have any Ladies Bedstraw or Hedge Bedstraw growing in the garden, although the former was part of the seed mix we put down in the spring. Cleavers is in the same genus and we have plenty of that but have found no records online to suggest it is used as a larval food plant.

Who knows though, with climate change and more frequent warm summers, perhaps we will see more and more of these amazing moths as time goes by.

DC – 10/08/2022

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