Hummingbird Moth!

Started May 10, 2015 | Discussions
earthseaimagery
earthseaimagery Regular Member • Posts: 160
Hummingbird Moth!
3

This one is new to me and a tough catch, as it moves around flower to flower very quickly and hovers much like a hummingbird, same sound, same quick moves. My wife first saw it a few days ago, I'd never heard of such a thing.  Finally, yesterday I saw it, but never got a chance to take a photo.  I've been trying most all day and finally got lucky!

The flowers, black currant, are about 5/8" across the the moth must be a bit over 2" long. The shot of it's back was at 1/1000 and the side view at 1/3200 of a second, note the blurred wings, yikes! Note also, the really long proboscis!

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Steve T.

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GeorgianBay1939
GeorgianBay1939 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,044
Re: Hummingbird Moth!

earthseaimagery wrote:

This one is new to me and a tough catch, as it moves around flower to flower very quickly and hovers much like a hummingbird, same sound, same quick moves. My wife first saw it a few days ago, I'd never heard of such a thing. Finally, yesterday I saw it, but never got a chance to take a photo. I've been trying most all day and finally got lucky!

The flowers, black currant, are about 5/8" across the the moth must be a bit over 2" long. The shot of it's back was at 1/1000 and the side view at 1/3200 of a second, note the blurred wings, yikes! Note also, the really long proboscis!

Those are great shots of a difficult subject.  I saw and photographed my first Hummingbird Clearwing Moth last summer with a 100-300mm lens on my GH4.

I was able to almost stop the (clear) wings in this thumbnail:

Hummingbird Clearwing Moth on milkweed wth a (rare) buddy nearby.

I am not an expert on these big moths but I am pretty sure that mine above is a Hemaris thysbe .

I think that your beauty is a Hyles lineata ... aka Hummingbird Moth or White-lined Sphinx Moth .... a great catch!

I am certain that I would never be able to ID these critters without using a fast focusing camera!

Thanks for posting your beauty!  I bet that it will return to your fruit/berry blossoms this spring.

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Tom
The best part of growing old is having the opportunity to do so.

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BruceWD
BruceWD Senior Member • Posts: 2,735
Re: Hummingbird Moth!

Love the 2nd one. Saw these in the desert once and I know what you mean about moving around. Bruce

RandTx Senior Member • Posts: 1,222
Re: Hummingbird Moth!

nice captures. Think I've seen one of those in the past and wondered what it was. well maybe seen a couple in the last decade or so.

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Rodger1943
Rodger1943 Forum Pro • Posts: 13,871
Re: Hummingbird Moth!

Excellent shots of a very interesting looking insect.

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earthseaimagery
OP earthseaimagery Regular Member • Posts: 160
Re: Hummingbird Moth!

Thanks for the info Tom,

I think you are correct in the ID.  I was at a loss, not knowing a thing about these until a few days ago!  We have a big row of the Black Currant bushes, all in bloom now, and this is where we've seen them.  I doubt I could have caught this with my Canon 7d or the SX50 my wife uses.  The FZ1000 is continuing to really impress me.

Now, I think I'm going to have to try the 4k video for stills, once I figure it out.  We have several cloudy/rainy days coming, so I probably won't get a chance soon though.  Any thoughts on shutter speed to stop the wings?

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Steve T.

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Bikesmith
Bikesmith Regular Member • Posts: 181
Re: Hummingbird Moth!

Sphinx Moths usually feed at dusk when there isn't enough light to get a decent photo. This Clearwing is the only one I've ever seen in good light. And I just happened to have my camera.

FZ10  2005 1/400   f/4.0   ISO 50

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djddpr
djddpr Veteran Member • Posts: 7,068
Re: Hummingbird Moth!

Steve,

Fabulous catches, especially #2 -- the very long proboscis.

David Dollevoet

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GeorgianBay1939
GeorgianBay1939 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,044
Re: Hummingbird Moth!

earthseaimagery wrote:

Thanks for the info Tom,

I think you are correct in the ID. I was at a loss, not knowing a thing about these until a few days ago! We have a big row of the Black Currant bushes, all in bloom now, and this is where we've seen them. I doubt I could have caught this with my Canon 7d or the SX50 my wife uses. The FZ1000 is continuing to really impress me.

Now, I think I'm going to have to try the 4k video for stills, once I figure it out. We have several cloudy/rainy days coming, so I probably won't get a chance soon though. Any thoughts on shutter speed to stop the wings?

Yeah, once you get started on Hummingbird Moths it leads to fascinating stuff!   Same as other subjects worth photographing I guess.

Last July I shot Hummingbird Clearwing Moths from my moveable blind (my truck) with a 100-300 mm lens on my GH4 giving me 600mm EFL, 1/5000sec, wide open (f/5.6) at ISO800 using EC of -2/3 in sunshine.

Some examples of that setting:

Sometimes, when its legs are firmly on the flower the wing speed seems to decrease, but most of the time you need a short shutter interval.

My strategy is to increase the ISO to 800, open f/ to max, drop EC (I shoot raw so I can increase brightness in post processing) to get maximum shutter speed.

So I'll be shooting the FZ1000 from the parked truck (to give me cover), close as possible, EFL 400mm, f/4, ISO 800, bracket (-2/3, 0, +2/3 EC) shutter speed, small area focus.  IF I can figure 4K out on both the camera and computer, I'd like to try some video.  Maybe even some high speed!  The patch of milkweeds that these moths visit is also visited by Monarchs and other beasties so there'll lots of photo ops.

Lots of new tricks for this old dog to learn!!

t

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Tom
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earthseaimagery
OP earthseaimagery Regular Member • Posts: 160
Re: Hummingbird Moth!

That seems about right!  I too always shoot RAW, I just like to have total control of how each image looks (well, realistically, each one that looks to be worth the bother).  Now that I'm aware of these moths, I'm hopeful to do as well as you on photographing them.  I wonder if there are more colorful varieties here in south central Oregon?

This little FZ1000 sure is a versatile camera!  I've been a serious photographer since about 1966 and think I've shot with about every format and camera type imaginable.  8x10 view camera down to 35mm.  I never in my wildest dreams thought there'd be a camera that would do all these things so well!  It may not be perfect, but it's sure a great compromise.

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Steve T.

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Brad Bohland
Brad Bohland Veteran Member • Posts: 6,325
Re: Hummingbird Moth!

That second one's a winner.

1helices
1helices Regular Member • Posts: 372
Re: Hummingbird Moth!

Excellent! Isn't it amazing how a surprise catch, such as these wonderful shots, can prompt you to search for more and more?

What delightful creatures they are!

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