Ed. Note:  This arrived at our personal email account with a copy to Julian Donahue

Bee Moth?
Location:  Paso Robles, California
May 10, 2014 7:58 AM
we saw this wonderful creature nectaring on california buckeye in paso robles; and believe we have correctly identified it as a bee moth. do you agree?  thank you.
clare.

Yep. Hemaris diffinis (Sphingidae), the Bumblebee Moth or Snowberry Clearwing.
Larvae feed on Caprifoliaceae: snowberry (Symphoricarpos) and honeysuckle (Lonicera). Adults on many nectar sources, including cultivated plants like lilac, hence they are frequently seen by the general public.
Julian Donahue

Snowberry Clearwing

Snowberry Clearwing

Hi Clare,
Thanks for sending your photo of a Snowberry Clearwing.  They have really rapidly beating wings, and if you set your camera to a fast shutter speed, like 1/1000 second, you might be able to freeze the movement of the wings.

Location: Paso Robles, California

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