These guys are pretty big and fluffy for moths, and they’re fast, strong flyers for lepidoptera. They’re active during the daytime, and they hit up the same flowers as a lot of hummingbirds. They also display a lot of hummingbird-like behavior, so they’re frequently mistaken for hummingbirds and consequently frequently called hummingbird moths.
Protip: It is not actually appropriate to split the difference and just go “Oh, it’s probably a vulture-eagle” if you’re not sure what an animal it is. Do not just smash the two terms together.
They’re also called hawk moths and sphinx moths. The moth most commonly mistaken for a hummingbird is Macroglossum stellatarum. It’s what people are usually talking about when they say “hummingbird moth,” but we’re kind of back to the whole “cladistics nightmare” thing with that.
Above: In your Linnaean classification system, killing all your mans.
This moth family is also home to the clearwing moths, maaaaaaany of which are wasp mimics, so the hummingbird moths aren’t the only ones who get a sick thrill out of confusing humans.
Above: A fucking moth, guys.