Hovering Now

Hemaris thysbeAt last! A good look at a Snowberry Clearwing moth (Hemaris diffinis). I had originally thought this was the Hummingbird Clearwing (H. thysbe) but the black line through the eyes across the sides of the thorax, and the dark legs, are distinguishing.Hemaris thysbe Both species look a little like hummingbirds, but are even smaller than our smallest birds. “Snowberry” is from one of its favorite plants. “Clearwing” because it has clear portions of its wing, which you can see through here. Hemaris thysbeCurious-looking. The Hemaris genus are in the Sphinx moth family, Sphingidae. Unlike most moths, these clearwings are primarily diurnal. Note that by hovering away from these milkweed flowers, the moth doesn’t pick up any pollinia. But you’d think that this “hairy” critter would be perfect for a pollen dusting.

What’s that old saying, sit by the river long enough and your enemies will eventually float by? Observing nature is a better variation of this: watch long enough and you’ll really start to see some things.

3 Responses to “Hovering Now”


  1. 1 Mary Jo Caffrey August 19, 2013 at 11:05 am

    Lucky Easterners! I haven’t seen one of these moths all year! What a treat to see one on your wonderful blog! Thank you.


  1. 1 Clearwings | Backyard and Beyond Trackback on August 22, 2016 at 7:00 am

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