Thursday, September 29, 2011

Snowberry Clearwing Moth (Hemaris diffinis)

September 17th, 2011. We’re always on the lookout for Clearwing Moths after our encounters with the Hummingbird Clearwing Moth (Hemaris thysbe) last year.

I was minding my own business taking photos of the Vernonia noveboracensis (New York Ironweed) at the swamp on Anderson Mill Creek in Wilkes County, Georgia, when I heard the unmistakable whirring sound of the wingbeat of the moth. It took a few seconds to spot this moth. It was not a Hummingbird Clearwing Moth. It was another clearwing moth that we hadn’t seen before. It took just a little research to identify it as a Snowberry Clearwing Moth (Hemaris diffinis).

We saw four in all. They were constantly working the ironweed patch. Like the Hummingbird Clearwing Moth, these were constantly on the move. Each would hardly settle on the flower before they fly off to the next flower.

And here they are…

This photo is interesting because the moths proboscis is curled up as it approaches the flower.

Incidentally, a single Hummingbird Clearwing Moth (Hemaris thysbe) stopped by one of the ironwood flowers for a few seconds.

Click on an image to view a larger image

Identification resources:

- BugGuide: Snowberry Clearwing Moth (Hemaris diffinis)

- Butterflies and Moths of North America: Snowberry Clearwing Moth (Hemaris diffinis)

Related post:

- Hummingbird Clearwing Moth (Hemaris thysbe)

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