Location: Northern Illinois
August 5, 2011 11:09 pm
I have not seen this type of bug before and am thinking it’s a butterfly or some sort. It’s wings beat very rapidly to the point I couldn’t see them when it was in flight. It seemed hover to drink nectar from ”butterfly bushes” vs actually land. I would guess the body was 1 1/2 – 2 inches long. I took these pics myself 8/5/11.
This is a diurnal Sphinx Moth in the genus Hemaris, and they are frequently mistaken for hummingbirds. Of the three similar species in the genus reported from Illinois, we believe yours is Hemaris diffinis, commonly called the Snowberry Clearwing or Bumblebee Moth. You can read more about this species on the Sphingidae of the Americas website. Your lovely photos show the dark legs and mask through the eye that we used as characteristics to determine the species.