Monday, July 23, 2012

Day 1 of Moth Week: Snowberry Clearwing

Thought I'd celebrate the start of the first National Moth Week with one of my favorite moths: the Snowberry Clearwing (Hermaris diffinis).

The snowberry is one of three types of hummingbird moths that are commonly found in Minnesota. The others are the Hummingbird Clearwing, Hemaris thysbe, easily distinguished by its much redder color; and the Slender Clearwing, Hemaris gracilis, distinguished from the Hummingbird Clearwing by its reddish brown dorsal stripe. The fourth Hemaris found in the U.S. is found only west of the Rockies and is the Western Snowberry Clearwing (Hemaris thetis).

The snowberry found here in Minnesota and elsewhere east of the Continental Divide dines on milkweed, liatris, beebalm, phlox, honeysuckle and verbena. Even though they're called "hummingbird moths" I think the snowberry seems to mimic big fuzzy bumblebees more than hummingbirds.

Here's another Snowberry that kindly held still for photos:

I love their furry coats. Wonder if they're as soft as they look...

Are you participating in National Moth Week? Post a comment with a link to your blog and I'll include it in this week's posts!


  1. Super shots.. coincidentally..I saw one yesterday & hadn't yet positively identified it (I knew general iD) & tried to get pictures..they never stay still..So I am very impressed w/ these.. Well done, gorgeous!

  2. Thanks, Cindy! I almost fell over when the one moth just stayed on the liatris. It looks pretty beat up - must've had a hard day!