Mating moths


Nature Canada bills the hummingbird moth as one of Canada’s coolest creatures. But, who could have guessed just how cool it would be on this occasion?

With spring, I often look for this moth. I rarely find it. Our local one is the Rocky Mountain Clearwing (Hemaris thetis) and you are lucky to even spot one, let alone watch it mate — and in midair.

This moth not only flies by day, it sips nectar as it hovers over flowers in the manner of a hummingbird. This one was visiting lilacs.

Amazingly, it was soon joined by another and they mated. The two of them continued to fly haphazardly about the lilac, seemingly using it as a sort of reference.

I believe the male is on the left. They never strayed far from the lilac during their aerial bout.


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7 Responses to Mating moths

  1. Trevor Goward says:

    Thanks Alistair.

    To me this is wonderful, quite literally full of wonder!

    Take good care


  2. Sarah says:

    What an amazing photo opportunity- chance of a lifetime! Thanks for sharing this unusual sighting. They look so much like bees, I have a lot to learn

  3. VH says:

    Great shots! I’ve seen these guys from time to time in the garden, but only one at a time. Lately I’ve been seeing snails mating in the garden. Now THAT’s a sight to see.

  4. Gail Frampton says:

    Thanks Alistair- very enlightening!
    Look forward to perhaps seeing humming birds in your Area!

  5. Susan Mckeen-Brown says:

    After viewing your post this morning of hummingbird moths, (Rocky Mountain Clear Wing) I went out to my garden and what did I see………yes mating Rocky Mountain Clear Wings. So beautiful. Thank you so much Alistair as I probably wouldn’t have noticed them had it not been for your post. Beautiful photos as always.

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