Clearwing Moths (Genus Hemaris)

Two species of Clearwing Moths (Genus Hemaris) were spotted in late September during photowalks at two Northern Virgina wildlife refuges.

Hummingbird Clearwing moth

A Hummingbird Clearwing moth (Hemaris thysbe) was spotted along “Fox Road” trail at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Prince William County, Virginia USA.

A closer shot provides a clearer view of the moth’s pale yellow legs, a key field marker for identifying H. thysbe.

Sincere thanks to Alonso Abugattas for help in identifying both moths.

It is my [understanding] that Hummingbird Clearwing (H. thysbe) has pale or yellow legs, while Snowberry Clearwing (H. diffinis) has dark or black legs; Slender Clearwing (H. gracilis) has reddish legs. Source Credit: Alonso Abugattas, Natural Resources Manager, Arlington County Parks, Virginia.

Snowberry Clearwing moth

A Snowberry Clearwing moth (Hemaris diffinis) was spotted at Mulligan Pond, Jackson Miles Abbott Wetland Refuge, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. Notice the moth has dark or black legs, a key field marker for identifying H. diffinis.

The Snowberry Clearwing never landed for more than an instant. I would describe each landing as a “touch-and-go,” for those readers familiar with aviation and flying.

The face of the Snowberry Clearwing reminds me of Spy vs. Spy, “a wordless comic strip published in Mad magazine.” Do you see the resemblance?

Editor’s Note: BugGuide cautions against using the common name “Clearwing Moths” for the Genus Hemaris because “because the family Sesiidae has that common name.”

Copyright © 2016 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

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3 Responses to “Clearwing Moths (Genus Hemaris)”

  1. Life-list additions in 2016 | walter sanford's photoblog Says:

    […] Clearwing Moths (Genus Hemaris), published on 04 October 2016. […]

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    […] 21 SEP 2016 | OBNWR | Hummingbird Clearwing moth (H. thysbe) […]

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