The adult hummingbird moth feeds on nectar from flowers, preferring plants such as thistles, red clover, wild roses, Japanese honeysuckle, bee balm, lilac, blackberry, cherry and blueberry. Gardeners can grow these plants in their yards to attract hummingbird moths ranging nearby. Their habitats span Alaska and the Northwest Territories, British Columbia to Oregon, the Great Plains and the Great Lakes, and areas near Texas and Florida.
Due to its green-and-red coloration, quick hovering movements and nectar-based diet, the hummingbird moth is frequently mistaken for the animal from which it gets its name. It even features a fluffy tuft of hairs on the end of its abdomen that resembles a feathered tail.
The hummingbird moth is diurnal, meaning it is most active during the day, unlike most other moth species. It is frequently spotted in open fields, gardens and forest edges on clear, sunny days, using its long proboscis to sip its meals from flowers. This 2-inch-long insect is a terrific pollinator and its presence may be desirable for gardeners who wish to grow different varieties of berries in their yards.
The moth is vulnerable to larger birds, including jays, cardinals and robins, as well as larger spiders and mantises. It often uses its birdlike appearance to its advantage, which discourages predators that do not normally eat birds.