davetass's picture


Observed: 2nd July 2011 By: davetass

Apologies for the poor drawing.
The creature (I'm still not sure if it was a very very small bird)was noticed feeding on the (I assume) nectar of our Jasmine (clotted cream by name)at around 09:00 02/07/2011.I observed it for about 4 mins (unfortunately my attemts to draw the wife's attention to get the camera failed) whilst with great agility it went from flower to flower moving left to right and up and down whilst maintaining perfect attitude just as a humming bird would do. However it was only appx 1 and a half inches in length including it's probosis (appx one quarter inch long) which whilst in my sight, was never retracted after each feeding but got deep into the flower head. It had very small noncompound black eyes toward the front of it's head. It's short stumpy body was a blueish grey colour with a short laterally set tail with a bit of yellowish flashing on it. It's wings were about as long as the creature itself and beat at incredible speed in an up and down fashion. I think they were transparent but the speed may have been creating that illusion.
I have never seen such an insect (?)before or indeed on tv. Does anyone have any clue what it was?

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jonmortin's picture

Too small to be a bird, so

Too small to be a bird, so you could reclassify it as an invertebrate.

davetass's picture


To all those kind people who replied:

I checked your suggestions on the 'Encyclopedia of Life' link and can confirm that it definitely was the Humming-bird Hawk-moth (Macroglossum stellatarum).So well done mbf45 who took about 5 mins to ID and get me an answer!

jonmortin's picture

The likely id won't come up

The likely id won't come up as Humming-bird Hawk-moth until it's classified as an invertebrate and only you can edit that bit Dave!

jonmortin's picture

my last comment got posted

my last comment got posted twice so I've just edited it...(couldn't delete it)