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Hummingbird Clearwing
Photo © Kim Hosen; Merrimac Fam Wildlife Management Area, Nokesville, VA; August 2010

Hummingbird Clearwing
Hemaris thysbe
Family: Sphingidae (Sphinx Moths, Hawkmoths)

Wingspan: 1.5 to 2 inches

Hummingbird Clearwings have wings with scales of blackish-red that fall off after their first flight, leaving translucent areas, thus the "clearwing" in their name.

Their body coloring is olive-green, turning red near the rear in a texture similar to fur. The similar Snowberry Clearwing has black legs and is typically slightly smaller.

They can typically be found in meadows, the edges of forests, or even gardens along the northern coast east of the Great Plains and as far north as Alaska and Canada.

Their name comes from the slight buzzing sound they make when flying, similar to that of a hummingbird.

The Clearwing drinks nectar from flowers such as honeysuckle, red clover, blueberry, cranberry, lilac, and vetch through a feeding tube resembling a hummingbird's beak.