First reports of the hummingbird clearwing moth
Editor’s note: This article is from the archives of the MSU Crop Advisory Team Alerts. Check the label of any pesticide referenced to ensure your use is included.
One side benefit of flower gardens is the pretty bugs they attract. One such pretty bug that people call the lab to inquire about is the hummingbird clearwing moth, Hemaris thysbe (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae). These pretty little moths sip nectar from flowers and look and behave like tiny hummingbirds. This moth occurs from Alaska through central and eastern North America in open areas with shrubs, young trees and gardens. Larval stages feed on the leaves of hawthorn, honeysuckle, snowberry and viburnum. One generation per year is typical for northern areas of their range, but two generations may occur in Michigan during very warm summers. Expect only one generation this year.
Other Hemaris species that may be seen in Michigan include the slender clearwing, H. gracilis and the snowberry clearwing, H. diffinis.
See a nice photograph of a hummingbird clearwing caterpillar at: http://bugguide.net/node/view/71006
Read more about Hemaris thysbe at http://www.silkmoths.bizland.com/hthysbe.htm