21 August, 2011

Snowberry Clearwing Hummingbird Moth, Hemaris diffinis

Dennis and I were in the garden yesterday to hook up the garden hose so we could replenish the water in in our little garden pond.  I noticed this insect flying low with an erratic path.  When we got a decent look at it we could tell it was a hummingbird moth.  A little smaller than what we have seen before and it seemed to have clear wings, also different from the others.  It was flitting around very jerkily, so none of my photos are very sharp, but that is the nature of this beast.  

Its wings beat so fast that is hard to even see them.

It, or rather she as it turns out, has found a plant that she likes.

You can tell here that the wings are clear.
She is getting in position to lay an egg.

Looking for another spot to lay an egg.

She tucks the tip of its abdomen under the leaf.

Off to find another good spot.

Here we go ...

I didn't want to disturb her any more, so I let her be.

I came back the next morning to check for eggs and found 3.

Tiny, glistening, green globules.

Two were very round.

And one seemed to be a little flat on top.

They should hatch in about 3-4 days.
I'll keep an eye out for hatchlings, but they will be very small and also green - hard to see on the green leaf.  I think this plant is a honeysuckle, which is one of their preferred plants.  It came up as a volunteer in the garden and I almost weeded it out.  Glad I left it.  

By the way - this post is for Dean who reminded me recently that there are clearwing moths.  :-)
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  1. Hi Wilma. We get something similar here in the UK, known as Bee Hawkmoths (it`s not hard to see why). Superb creatures.

  2. Let's hope you can follow their progress.

  3. Dean - I have seen hummingbird moths just a handful of times during my life. Each time was special.

    Keith - I took a couple of shots before the evening light faded after work today and I think I can see some development inside the eggs; they not so entirely uniform as they were. Maybe tomorrow will bring caterpillars!

    Roy - it helped that the plant the eggs are on a plant that is only about 8 inches tall! ;-)


  4. I just stumbled across your blog, absolutely glorious stuff! Subscribed.


  5. Bertie - welcome to my blog and thanks for your kind comment.



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