Sunday, July 06, 2008

Snowberry Clearwing Moth (Hemaris diffinis)

Nectaring on Bee Balm (Monarda fistulosa) on 6/22/08.

Snowberry Clearwing Moth (Hemaris diffinis)

It's only taken two years and an astronomical number of deleted pixels to get a halfway decent shot of one of these clearwing moths. I see them every year, though we do seem to have a larger than usual population this year. Seeing them and getting a photograph are two entirely different matters, though. I've never seen one at rest, but always in constant motion as they move from flower to flower.

Adults are said to mimic bumblebees, but except for the coloration, I don't really see the comparison. They feed during the day and are found throughout most of the United States and western Canada.

Thanks to Bobby Grizzard on BugGuide for confirming this ID.

On Slender Mountain Mint (Pycnanthemum tenuifolium) 7/2/08

Sources and Additional Information:
Species Page on BugGuide
Species details from Butterflies and Moths of North America
Images of pinned specimens from Moths of Maryland



Lisa at Greenbow said...

We just had the first one of the season in our garden a couple of days ago. They are so pretty and fuzzy looking I always just want to try to pet them.

Tom said...

Never heard of these so it's another trip to Bug Guide.. it's always a great place to go anyway.

smilnsigh said...

I've never seen these moths. We have lots of tiny white ones. But these are more colorful.

Congratulations on your photo captures!!! I am in awe. And I mean that!!! Wow!!!

And what a pretty name!!! Snowberry Clearwing Moth! I love it!

'Smilnsigh' blog

smilnsigh said...

I love these entries, of flowers and moths/butterflies!

Ooops, shouldn't have said that, should I! I feel a week's worth of 'ugly bugs' coming on!!! Eeeek! ,-)

'Smilnsigh' blog

Small City Scenes said...

Great capture. We even get to see a wing. Busy buzzers. MB

Lana Gramlich said...

I'd love to see one of these in person someday...Great shots!

laughingwolf said...

lovely creature

i lived in the west for more'n 20 years, but never saw one... thx marvin

Louise said...

Do these sort of fly like hummingbirds? We have some moth like that, but like yours, they are never still. I catch glimpses. Definitely not enough to grab the camera and actually get a picture.


Pat - Arkansas said...

Thanks, Marvin. Don't remember seeing one of these down here. Great photos.

abb said...

I haven't seen one of these since my childhood in Columbia, MO! Thanks for the memory!

Wonderful photographs!!

Christy said...

Impressive, I saw the semi look of the bumble bee in the moth. I do have to say as I sit here viewing your page I realize that I have seen to many critters on your site that I now believe that they are actually crawling on my laptop or maybe I am tired and just need to go to bed. Either way I have to get my blogging fix somehow.

Marvin said...

Thanks to everyone for your comments.

Louise: Yes, they are a relatively large moth, almost as large as a hummingbird -- and they flit about in a similar fashion. In fact, a closely related species is called the Hummingbird Clearwing.

Christy: Sorry about the critter overload. Perhaps it's time to take a break from bugs. :-)

Anonymous said...

Ha! Just like the leafhopper, I saw this guy this weekend, too! You have now successfully identified two bugs for me - just on your front page!

Great photos, by the way!