What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Is this a clearwing moth
Tue, Oct 21, 2008 at 2:26 PM
Took this photo in northeastern Illinois. I believe that it is a clearwing moth, but I do not know what type.
Norm Carl
northeastern Illinois near Chicago

Hummingbird Clearwing

Hummingbird Clearwing

Hi Norm,
We are happy to see that you figured out how to send the photo before we had a chance to respond.  We believe this is a Hummingbird Clearwing, Hemaris thysbe, but there are closely related species in the genus Hemaris that sometimes confuse us.  You can find lots of great information and photos on Bill Oehlke’s excellent website.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

5 Responses to Hummingbird Clearwing

  1. kkroeker says:

    Hi Norm: According to the checklists of moths of Illinois there are only two species of clearwing moths in that state; the Hummingbird Clearwing (Hemaris thysbe) and the Snowberry Clearwing (H. diffinis). H. diffinis is a yellow and black bumblebee mimic with a narrow outer forewing margin, so that leaves H. thysbe. This species is most easily confused with the very similar Slender Clearwing (H. gracilis), a species apparently not reported from Illinois but that does occur in states to the north and east. H. thysbe and H. gracilis are distinguished from each other by markings on the flanks below the wings (unfortunately not visible on your photo) and on the forewings. The uneven inner edge of the reddish-brown border of the forewing indicates that yours is H. thysbe. Regards.


  2. Karen R. says:

    saw one of these yesterday hovering over my dog’s poop, never saw one before ever! pretty amazing insect even my husband was amazed!

  3. Diel Van Haverbeke says:

    I saw one of these yesterday going from flower to flower, my neighbor said it was a hummingbird moth, which I have never heard of. Same look as the clearwig shown above. Tried to get a good picture, but those little wings were moving too fast.

  4. Susan K. says:

    Saw one on July 18, 2018.
    I have never seen one before, it was amazing.
    Feeling special that I saw it.

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