Moths of the Adirondack Mountains:
Hummingbird Clearwing (Hemaris thysbe)
|This page is no longer being updated. For an updated version of this material, see: Hummingbird Clearwing (Hemaris thysbe).|
The Hummingbird Clearwing (Hemaris thysbe) -- also known as the Hummingbird Moth  -- is a small moth that may be seen in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York and in the Paul Smiths VIC Butterfly House in summer. It is a member of the Sphingidae or Sphynx Moth family.  Named because its movement mimics that of a hummingbird, adult Hummingbird Clearwings -- in contrast to many moths -- are day fliers. They fly during the daytime, hovering briefly at flowers to sip nectar.    The green body covering and burgundy wing scales suggest a small ruby-throated hummingbird. 
The Hummingbird Clearwing has wings which are mostly transparent with reddish brown terminal borders and dark scaling along the veins. Its legs are yellowish or pale. From above, the thorax is olive or golden olive. From below, the thorax is yellow. The abdomen is very dark burgundy from both above and below.  The wing span of the Hummingbird Clearwing is about 1.5 to 2 inches. .
Caterpillar hosts include honeysuckle, snowberry, cherries and plums.   Adults consume nectar from a variety of flowers including Japanese honeysuckle, lilac, snowberry, vetch, bee balm, red clover, and phlox. 
Hummingbird Clearwings reportedly are common in Canada and the eastern US, including New York State.   Their habitat includes forests and woodlands, meadows and fields, as well as cities, suburbs, and towns.  In 2012, Hummingbird Clearwings were present in the Paul Smiths VIC Native Species Butterfly House through much of the summer.
- Susan Grimm Hanley. Interpretive Naturalist, Paul Smith's College Native Species Butterfly House. Species Logbooks.
- Butterflies and Moths of North American. Species Profiles. Sighting record: 8/4/12, 8/4/12
- ENature. Field Guides.
- Iowa State University. Department of Entomology. BugGuide.
- Insect Images. Hummingbird Clearwing.
- Sphingidae of the United States. Hemaris thysbe
- Charles V. Covell, Jr. A Field Guide to the Moths of Eastern North America (Houghton Mifflin Company, 1984), p. 40, Plate 6.
- David Carter. Butterflies and Moths (Dorling Kindersley, Inc., 1992), p. 242.
- David Beadle and Seabrooke Leckie. Peterson Field Guide to Moths of Northeastern North America (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, 2012), pp. 264-265.