hummingbird clearwing

(Hemaris thysbe)

hummingbird clearwing
Photo by Bill Reynolds
  Hodges #

7853

 
 
Conservation Status
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
 
Description
 
 

Hummingbird clearwing is a common, medium to large, sphinx moth. In poor light or at a distance it is easily mistaken for a hummingbird, due to similarities in both appearance and behavior. It has a wingspan of 19 16 to 23 16.

When the adult first emerges from the cocoon the wings are completely covered with dark wine-red scales. The scales begin to drop off with the first flight, eventually leaving the wings clear except on the margins and along the veins. The forewing is long and narrow with a smooth, slightly convex outer margin. The forewing cell is boldly outlined and is either mostly covered with dark scales or is bisected by a thin, dark line that looks like, but is not, a vein.

The appendage (tegula) covering the forewing base is olive green. The thorax is unbanded, olive green above, and yellow below.

The abdomen is banded with five colors. Abdominal segments 1 and 2 are olive green; segments 3 through 5 are tan with a few olive-green hairs; segments 6 and 7 are dark wine-red; segments 8 and 9 are olive green, often with a small to large, dark wine red patch in the middle; and segment 10 is black. Tufts of long hairs flare outward from the tenth abdominal segment and look like feathers.

The head is olive green. The antennae are black, thickened, and club-like. The proboscis is long and is coiled under the head when not in use. The legs are yellowish or pale colored.

The caterpillar is lime green and up to 2 long. The head, thorax, and abdominal segments 1 through 7 and 10 are moderately covered with prominent, minute, white bumps. Abdominal segments 8 and 9 have much fewer, scattered, less prominent bumps. The leading edge of the thorax has a yellow, warty collar. A long, curved, often bluish horn extends from the eighth abdominal segment. A yellow subdorsal stripe extends from the first thoracic segment to the horn. The spiracles are white with a red center and an orange base. The leg-like structures (prolegs) on the abdomen are yellow at the base, black in the middle, and green at the end with an brownish-red band. Mature caterpillars can be found from May onward.

 
     
 

Size

 
 

Wingspan: 19 16 to 23 16

Total Length: 1 to 13 16

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Meadows, gardens, woodland openings.

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Season

 
 

Two broods: May to September

 
     
 

Behavior

 
 

Adults fly during the day.

 
     
 

Life Cycle

 
 

Females attract males by releasing pheromones. After mating, she lays spherical green eggs on the underside of host leaves. The eggs hatch in about one week and the caterpillars begin feeding on leaves and fruit of the host plant. They molt five times in four weeks before pupating. The first generation pupates in a cocoon among the leaf litter on the ground. Adults emerge two to four weeks later. The second generation caterpillar burrows into the soil and overwinters as a pupa and emerges in as an adult in May or June.

 
     
 

Larva Hosts

 
 

Mostly viburnum (Viburnum spp.), but also honeysuckle (Lonicera spp.), snowberry (Symphoricarpos), hawthorn (Crataegus spp.), and cherry (Prunus spp.).

 
     
 

Adult Food

 
 

Flower nectar.

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

7, 21, 24, 29, 30, 75.

 
  10/21/2020      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

 

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
 

Order

Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths)  
 

Suborder

Glossata  
 

Infraorder

Neolepidoptera  
  Parvorder Heteroneura  
  No Rank Ditrysia  
  No Rank Obtectomera  
 

Superfamily

Bombycoidea (hawk-moths)  
 

Family

Sphingidae (hawk moths, sphinx moths, and hornworms)  
 

Subfamily

Macroglossinae  
 

Tribe

Dilophonotini  
 

Genus

Hemaris  
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

 

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

common clear-wing

hummingbird clearwing

hummingbird clearwing moth

hummingbird moth

sphinx colibri

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Anal plate

In snakes: the large scale in front of and covering the anus. In turtles: one of the posterior plates of the lower shell (plastron). In Lepidoptera: the often hardened shield on the dorsal surface of the last (10th) segment of the abdomen.

 

Proleg

A fleshy structure on the abdomen of some insect larvae that functions as a leg, but lacks the five segments of a true insect leg.

 

Prothoracic shield

The hardened plate on the dorsal surface of the first segment of the thorax.

 

Tegula

A small, hardened plate or flap-like structure that overlaps the base of the forewing of insects in the orders Lepidoptera, Hymenoptera, Diptera, and Homoptera.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       
Visitor Photos
   

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Alfredo Colon
       
  hummingbird clearwing   hummingbird clearwing
       
Rick Thome
       
  hummingbird clearwing    
       
Chuck Ward
       

On Perennial Pollinator

  hummingbird clearwing   hummingbird clearwing
       
  hummingbird clearwing   hummingbird clearwing
       
Colin Warren
       

Snacking on some Persian Cat Mint

  hummingbird clearwing    
       
Norm & Peg Dibble
       

Sphinx Moth, 2017

  hummingbird clearwing    
       
Jane W
       

Feeding on shaded impatiens flowers

  hummingbird clearwing    
       
Bill Reynolds
       

Found this Clearwing Hummingbird moth this morning after it spent the night hanging onto a dried thistle bloom.

  hummingbird clearwing   hummingbird clearwing
       
  hummingbird clearwing   hummingbird clearwing
       
Tom Baker
       
  hummingbird clearwing   hummingbird clearwing
       
  hummingbird clearwing   hummingbird clearwing
       
       
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
   
  hummingbird clearwing    
       
       
       

 

Camera

     
Slideshows
   
  Hummingbird Clearwing (Hemaris thysbe)
Andree Reno Sanborn
 
  Hummingbird Clearwing (Hemaris thysbe)  
     
  Hummingbird Clearwing (Hemaris thysbe)
Bill Keim
 
  Hummingbird Clearwing (Hemaris thysbe)  
     
  Hemaris thysbe - Hummingbird Clearwing Moth
Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren
 
  Hemaris thysbe - Hummingbird Clearwing Moth  
 
About

H. diffinis (Snowberry Clearwing) has black legs, the legs of H. thysbe (Hummingbird Clearwing) are off white to reddish, H. gracilis (Slender Clearwing) does have more maroon colored legs than H. thysbe, but the best character to diagnose H. gracilis is a reddish-brown patch along the side of the thorax where the legs meet the thorax, that coloration carries over into the legs. - Ryan St Laurent on Mothing

 
     
  Hummingbird Clearwing Moth
jt893x
 
  Hummingbird Clearwing Moth  

 

slideshow

       
Visitor Videos
   

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Other Videos
 
  hummingbird clearwing moth (Hemaris thysbe)
KillerChicken
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Aug 29, 2006

This hummingbird clearwing moth has been lurking in my garden for a week or so now. It was so intent on feeding it didn't care how close we approached it.

   
       
  Hummingbird Clearwing (Hemaris Thysbe) Amazing Wing Action HD
Andrew Lombardo
 
   
 
About

Published on Jul 10, 2013

You have to see the wings starting at about 35 seconds.

nWatch in 1080HD.

   
       
  Hemaris thysbe caterpillar
The Urban Gardener
 
   
 
About

Published on Nov 1, 2013

No description available.

   
       
  Hummingbird Clearwing Moth (Hemaris thysbe) in slow motion
Little Lives Through My Lenses
 
   
 
About

Published on Oct 3, 2013

My Blog: http://www.littlelivesthroughmylenses.wordpress.com/
My Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Little-Lives-Through-My-Lenses-Blog/312251308917285?ref=hl
Blog post for this video:http://littlelivesthroughmylenses.wordpress.com/2013/08/20/slow-motion-hummingbird-moths-mantis-updates-freaky-spiders-and-more/

These are clips I captured of what I am pretty sure is a Hummingbird Clearwing Moth (Hemaris thysbe) which was feeding on Bee Balm flowers at the wildflower reserve at Raccoon Creek State Park in Hookstown, Pennsylvania. I slowed the clips down so that you can really see the moth. They dart around so quickly, like hummingbirds!

   
       
  The Hummingbird Clearwing Moth
cmnsns
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Jun 17, 2011

Hemaris thysbe, the Hummingbird Clearwing Moth or Common Clearwing

   
       

 

Camcorder

         
Visitor Sightings
   

Report a sighting of this moth.

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Be sure to include a location.

Alfredo Colon
8/7/2019

Location: Woodbury, Minnesota

hummingbird clearwing


Rick Thome
8/7/2020

Location: Independence MN

hummingbird clearwing


Chuck Ward
7/29/2020

Location: Washington County

On Perennial Pollinator

hummingbird clearwing


Joel Ramsay
6/2/2020

Location: 14 miles north M of New York mills Minnesota

Never seen one before. Just watch 2 of them zipping around on lilacs. I thought it was a mini humming bird. Till it came right in front of me. Beautiful moth.


Pops Anderson
8/16/2019

Location: Mora, MN

Caught 2 feeding on the bergamot plants in our rain garden. One was about 2 inches in length, the other about 1 inch. Tough to get any clear pictures. They move as fast as hummers.


Colin Warren
6/12/2019

Location: Minneapolis, MN

Snacking on some Persian Cat Mint 

hummingbird clearwing


Jamie R
8/4 and 8/5/2018

Location: Blaine, MN

flying around Petunia flowers


Jane W
8/4/2018

Location: Shoreview, MN

Feeding on shaded impatiens flowers  

hummingbird clearwing


Norm & Peg Dibble
2017

Location: Maple Grove, MN

Sphinx Moth

hummingbird clearwing


Bill Reynolds
9/11/2015

Location: Pennington Co MN

Found this Clearwing Hummingbird moth this morning after it spent the night hanging onto a dried thistle bloom.  

hummingbird clearwing


     
     
 
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