Moth? Hummingbird?

What did I see? In my petunias yesterday morning was a small, maybe two-inch long moth (at least what I think was a moth), flying like a hummingbird. It was a very good flyer, with motions much like a dragonfly, and when it entered a flower for a drink, its wings kept beating just like a hummingbird's. For the most part, it was brown, with two distinct yellow bands around its body. I live in Chicago.
What did I see?
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AuralFeast said:

Possibly a hummingbird clearwing moth. Definitely a moth in the Sphinx family (Sphingidae).
Check out the candidates here: http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/distr/lepid/moths/il/toc.htm#sphingidae
--
Pat in Plymouth MI

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AuralFeast wrote:

A "hummingbird moth". One of several moths of the family sphingidae. I saw one a couple of years ago in my flowering tobacco; it was weird.
Best regards, Bob
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After looking at the pics, I'm pretty sure it was a nessus sphinx moth. It was wierd for sure, but cool in that it was found in a relatively urban area.
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On 21 Jul 2003 14:23:42 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (AuralFeast) wrote:

The roost (so to speak) on the outside of our house on the limestone facade. They are brilliant and beautiful insects. They pollinate our datura, brugmansia, salvia, tithonia, gaura, and a ton of other plants, but they do love nicotiana. Actually, they come from the tobacco horn worm, which are those giant worms we find on our tomatoes. Tomato horn worms are found on tobacco! I have no idea this name reversal happened, but it has.
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wrote:

Tomato and tobacco aren't all that far apart. But the Tomato Hornworm is Manduca quinquemaculata, and the tobacco hornworm is Manduca sexta. [apparenty 5 & 6 of something is what distinguishes them] Neither becomes the Nessus Spinx, though. See http://www.ext.colostate.edu/PUBS/INSECT/05517.html for some pictures. Same family-- but definitely a different moth.
The caterpillar of the Nessus Sphinx Moth eats grapes, ampelopsis & cayenne according to http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/distr/lepid/moths/oh/1021.htm
Jim
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On 21 Jul 2003 11:11:53 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (AuralFeast) wrote:

The age-old question....a sphinx moth that flies like a hummingbird. You can get a lot closer to a sphinx moth, though. They also like butterfly bush.
Dan
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