Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Word Wednesday: Hemaris Difinis

or Snowberry Clearwing, or Hummingbird Moth. This accidental post arose because Mr. Nature had his eye behind the lens again. He was out taking photos of the flowers and all the many types of bee we now have circling and hovering. Except, upon closer inspection, this was clearly not a type of bee I had ever seen.I first noticed the very long proboscis on this one, and then on another photo, I noticed the very hummingbird-like pointed wings. If you click on these photos, they will enlarge in a window so you can see the insect more closely. So, naturally, I did a search for "hummingbird bee" (because I still thought it was some sort of bee). Results revealed that it is actually a moth!According to the University of Arkansas, there are four species of moth in the U.S. of the genus Hemaris. They are a daytime flying moth, rather than flying at night like other moths. They are a "big pollinator" and range over much of the U.S. and Canada. The larvae are, apparently, like normal green hornworms, but smaller in size. These moths can be found in gardens all over, and especially like snowberry, dogbane, honeysuckle, and dwarf bush honeysuckle.

I will now be on the lookout for these amazing insects that I hadn't known existed. Have you spotted on in your neighborhood?



Deb G said...

Wow, that is an amazing critter. I don't know that I've seen them, but I'm going to be looking now.

Splendid Little Stars said...

Yes, I've seen them! Aren't they amazing?!
Mutts comic strip had a comic about this, but it was not available on archive.
kitty says to dog, "Earl, What's THAT!?!
"a hummingbird moth"
"WOW. WHAT will they think of next?"
mutts website is
We see hummingbird moths on our butterfly bushes.

Pricilla said...

Wow! Fantastic photos...HUGE moth.

Tammie Lee said...

Interesting timing, I just found this post and twenty min. ago I was taking photos of this beautiful creature. I have seen it before, it arrives this time of year here in the NW of Montana. If one does not look closely they might think it is another bumble bee.
Great images.