Location: Brooklyn, NY
July 27, 2010 12:57 am
I am pretty sure this guy is a clearwing moth, the so-called hummingbird moth; he comes back to our garden every summer for this particular shade of pink dianthus–none other will do. I have gotten some pretty good bug shots of other things but this fella is hard to photograph, still, this one came out pretty decently. Just wanted to ask if you could confirm the type of moth, and to share these pix.
Buggy in Brooklyn
Dear Buggy in Brooklyn,
The Clearwing Moths in the genus Hemaris are diurnal moths often mistaken for hummingbirds, but taxonomically they are in a different tribe than your moth, the Nessus Sphinx, Amphion floridensis, though both are in the same family, Sphingidae, the Sphinx Moths or Hawkmoths. You can read more about the Nessus Sphinx on Bill Oehlke’s excellent website. Your photo clearly shows the coiled proboscis even though the shutter speed was not fast enough to “freeze” the rapidly beating wings.