Hummingbird moth (Hemaris thysbe)

by | Jul 24, 2011

Watch this video in full-screen, 720p mode. The Hummingbird Moth is difficult to see at first, but it comes closer during the second minute of the clip.

The first time I saw one of these, my mind briefly went into a strange Twilight Zone mode because I couldn’t place the creature in either the insect or the hummingbird category. It seemed otherworldly.

But of course it is an insect — Hemaris thysbe — also known as the Hummingbird Clearwing moth or Snowberry Clearwing moth, one of hundreds of species of “sphinx moth,” “hawk moth,” and hornworms in the Sphingidae family.

This hummingbird moth flies during the day, feeding on nectar from a wide variety of flowers — in this case the lavender blossoms in our backyard raised bed.

It began life as a type of hornworm caterpillar that looks fairly similar to a Tobacco Hornworm, but which feeds on Honeysuckle, snowberry, hawthorns, cherries and plums rather than tobacco and tomatoes.


Have anything to add?

Mark’s recent posts

Another Week: Number 48

Wednesday, November 22, 2023: Sunset at the Walmart parking lot in Sturtevant, Wisconsin. Thanksgiving week found Amy pretty weak and fatigued and still struggling with eating solid food, but nevertheless powering through...

Another Week: Number 47

Sunrise on Drexel Ave. in front of Mitchell School in Racine, Wisconsin, November 16, 2023. More than six months into Amy's current health adversity, we're sort of swimming from rock to rock in a rushing stream. Headaches and...

Another Week: Number 46

November 6, 2023: Wisconsin Lutheran College seen from the third floor of Froedtert Clinical Cancer Center, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. Our first week on Standard Time started promisingly. After I mowed the leaves while listening to...

Another Week: Number 45

November 1, 2023, 7:38 a.m.: Mitchell School in Racine, Wisconsin after a Halloween night snowstorm. You know how it can take some very careful adjustment to bring a touchy scale into balance, or to get a pendulum to keep...

Another Week: Number 44

October 23, 2023, 6:55 a.m.: Sunrise looking east from Froedtert Clinical Cancer Center in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, with downtown Milwaukee on the horizon at center, and American Family Field to the right. This was another...