Hummingbird Clearwing

Hemaris thysbe

''Hemaris thysbe'', commonly known as the Hummingbird Clearwing, is a moth of the Sphingidae family.
Hummingbird Clearwing Moth - Hemaris thysbe 
Appearance is variable. The thorax is olive in color dorsally and pale yellow ventrally. The abdomen is dark burgundy dorsally and ventrally with light olive/dark golden patches dorsally. Wings are mostly clear with reddish brown terminal borders.

Habitat: Rural garden Geotagged,Hemaris thysbe,Hummingbird Clearwing,Summer,United States,hummingbird moth,moth

Appearance

Coloration varies between individuals, but typically the moth is olive green and burgundy on its back, and white or yellow and burgundy on the underside. Its wings are transparent with a reddish brown border. It has light colored legs, which combined with the lack of striping on the underside is diagnostic. Beating its wings rapidly, ''H. thysbe'' hovers to collect nectar from a variety of flowers. The combination of its appearance and its behavior commonly leads to it being confused with a hummingbird or bumblebee.

The body of an adult ''Hemaris thysbe'' moth is spindle shaped, and is largely covered by a thick coat of fur. There is significant variation in coloration between individuals. Typically, the back side of moth is olive to golden-olive on the thorax and burgundy to black with light olive to dark golden patches on the abdomen.

The underside of the moth is white to yellow on the thorax and burgundy to black on the abdomen. When it first hatches, the wings of ''H. thysbe'' are dark red to black. As it begins to fly, scales fall off leaving a mostly clear wing with reddish brown borders and veins.

The width and shape of the border as well as the patterning of the veins vary between individuals. The moth beats its wings quite rapidly and has a wingspan of 4 to 5.5 centimetres. ''H. thysbe'' has light colored, often yellow legs.

The antennae of ''H. thysbe'' are thicker at their base and are curved at the ends. Unlike most moths, the species lacks hearing organs. It has compound eyes and well-developed reproductive organs.

''Hemaris thysbe'' can be distinguished from ''Hemaris gracilis'' and ''Hemaris diffinis'' by the lack of stripes on the underside of its thorax and by its pale legs. The ''H. thysbe'' caterpillar is yellowish green with bands of dark green and reddish brown to dark brown. It has a granulose body with small, white spots and a white horn projecting from the its posterior.
Hummingbird Clearwing Moth Appearance is variable. The thorax is olive in color dorsally and pale yellow ventrally. The abdomen is dark burgundy dorsally and ventrally with light olive/dark golden patches dorsally. Wings are mostly clear with reddish brown terminal borders.
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/71330/hummingbird_clearwing_moth_-_hemaris_thysbe.html Geotagged,Hemaris thysbe,Hummingbird Clearwing,Hummingbird Clearwing Moth,Summer,United States,moth,moth week 2018

Naming

Due to the variable appearance of ''H. thysbe'', it has often been mistakenly described as multiple distinct species. It was first identified by Johan Christian Fabricius in 1775. The moth is not endangered and has minimal economic impact upon humans.
Hummingbird Clearwing Moth This moth looked like it was about 100 years old. I spotted it this morning resting on bee balm in a garden.  Geotagged,Hemaris,Hemaris thysbe,Hummingbird Clearwing,Hummingbird Clearwing Moth,Summer,United States,moth

Distribution

''Hemaris thysbe'' is found in a large portion of the United States, with a range extending from Alaska to Oregon in the west and from Maine to Florida in the east. It is a migratory species and is most common in the eastern United States. ''H. thysbe'' was two broods a year in the southern portion of its range, but only one in the north. As a caterpillar, it feeds on honeysuckle and several types of fruit trees.
Hummingbird Clearwing Moth - Hemaris thysbe Appearance is variable. The thorax is olive in color dorsally and pale yellow ventrally. The abdomen is dark burgundy dorsally and ventrally with light olive/dark golden patches dorsally. Wings are mostly clear with reddish brown terminal borders.

Habitat: Rural garden Geotagged,Hemaris,Hemaris thysbe,Hummingbird Clearwing,Summer,United States,hummingbird moth,moth

Habitat

''Hemaris thysbe'' lives in second-growth forest, in meadows, and is commonly found in cultivated gardens of suburbia. ''H. thysbe'' is a migratory species, capable of traveling long distances. In single brood regions, adults are found throughout the summer. In the south, adults are present from March to June and from August to October.

''H. thysbe'' is most abundant in the eastern United States, with a range from Florida to Maine. Its range extends westward to Texas, the Great Plains, and into Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. On the west coast of North America, its range extends from Oregon to British Columbia, and into Alaska. It has minimal economic impact to humans acting neither as a crop pollinator nor as a pest. The moth does, however, pollinate several cultivated flowers, and is the primary pollinator for some species of orchid. ''H. thysbe'' is not endangered or threatened.
Hummingbird Clearwing Moth - Hemaris thysbe Appearance is variable. The thorax is olive in color dorsally and pale yellow ventrally. The abdomen is dark burgundy dorsally and ventrally with light olive/dark golden patches dorsally. Wings are mostly clear with reddish brown terminal borders.
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/57069/hummingbird_clearwing_moth.html Geotagged,Hemaris thysbe,Hummingbird Clearwing,Summer,United States,moth

Food

As a caterpillar, ''H. thysbe'' feeds on cherry trees, European cranberry bush, hawthorns, honeysuckle, and snowberry. It burrows into the soil to overwinter as a brown, hard-shelled pupae. In the late spring, it emerges as an adult moth. ''H. thysbe'' lays green eggs on the underside of plants leaves which hatch in about a week. Development takes four weeks after which the caterpillar spins a cocoon at ground level. Two to four weeks later a moth emerges for a second breeding cycle before summer's end in southern climates. In northern climates, ''H. thysbe'' has a single mating cycle per year.

The mating and other behavioral habits of ''H. thysbe'' have not been well studied. Adults are most active during the hottest parts of the day, but remain active until sunset. ''H. thysbe'' collects nectar from a wide variety of flowers using a long proboscis while hovering above the bloom. It shows a preference for pink and purple flowers, moving rapidly from one flower to the next. The moth is considered to be a hummingbird mimic and is frequently mistaken for the bird or for a bumblebee.
Hummingbird Clearwing Moth Nectaring the milkweed flowers, the Hummingbird Clearwing Moth (Hemaris thysbe) moves swiftly amongst the patch at Thomson Lake, Alleyn-et-Cawood, Québec, Canada. Alleyn-et-Cawood,Canada,Geotagged,Hemaris thysbe,Hummingbird Clearwing,Hummingbird Clearwing Moth,Québec,Summer,Thomson Lake

Evolution

''Hemaris thysbe'' was first described by Johan Christian Fabricius in 1775 as ''Sesia thysbe'' in his ''Systema Entomologiae''. The specific name is likely a reference to Thisbe, half of a pair of ill-fated lovers in Ovid's ''Metamorphoses''. The name thus associates the blood-stained scarf of Thisbe to the reddish brown coloration of the moth.

Due to the variable coloration and wing patterning of ''H. thysbe'', it, along with other members of ''Hermaris'', were described as many different species during the 1800s. In 1971, entomologist Ronald Hodges examined the various forms in detail. He dissected a number of specimens representing the range of ''H. thysbes coloration and geographic scope and found no differences in their reproductive organs. He thus concluded that the many variations represent a single species. Species collapsed into ''H. thysbe'' include:
⤷ ''Sphinx pelasgus'' Cramer, 1780
⤷ ''Sesia cimbiciformis'' Stephens, 1828
⤷ ''Sesia ruficaudis'' Kirby, 1837
⤷ ''Sesia fuscicaudis'' Walker, 1856
⤷ ''Haemorrhagia buffaloensis'' Grote & Robinson, 1867
⤷ ''Haemorrhagia floridensis'' Grote & Robinson, 1867
⤷ ''Sesia uniformis'' Grote, 1868
⤷ ''Macroglossa etolus'' Boisduval, 1875
⤷ ''Macroglossa pyramus'' Boisduval, 1875

References:

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Status: Not evaluated
EX EW CR EN VU NT LC
Taxonomy
KingdomAnimalia
DivisionArthropoda
ClassInsecta
OrderLepidoptera
FamilySphingidae
GenusHemaris
SpeciesH. thysbe