Hummingbird moth and Prickly Phlox
Here’s a recent photo that really caught some nectaring action. This article in SF Gate seems to have good background information on these moths. The photo was taken in the Santa Monica mountains near the Ray Miller trailhead of the Backbone Trail on 3-18-23 using an Apple iPhone with plenty of frantic button pushing to capture this in flight.
The SF Gate articles states,
Adult hummingbird moths hover and flit about, feeding on the nectar of various flowers including phlox and verbena but they are more selective when choosing a host plant for egg laying….Honeysuckle (Lonicera spp.) and dwarf bush honeysuckle (Diervilla lonicera) are shrubs or vines that hummingbird moths commonly use as host plants….Snowberry bushes (Symphoricarpos spp.) are used as host plants for hummingbird moths and grow in USDA zones 1 through 10. S. albus is native to California and most of the United States.