SNOWBERRY CLEARWING MOTHS ARE OFTEN MISTAKEN FOR HUMMINGBIRDS

SNOWBERRY CLEARWING FEEDING AT LANTANTA BLOOMS

SNOWBERRY CLEARWING FEEDING AT LANTANTA BLOOMS

The snowberry clearwing moth has an identify problem. This should come as no surprise since this small (1 1/2-2-inch) moth  doesn’t act like most moths. It prefers to fly about our yards visiting the flowers in our gardens when most moths are resting awaiting the arrival of night.  The fact that it darts from flower much like a much larger ruby-throated hummingbird, only adds to the confusion.

       However, upon closer examination you will see that, unlike a hummingbird, it has two thick, black antennae protruding from its head.  Also, this critter doesn’t have a bill like a hummingbird. Instead it has a long, very thin proboscis that it uses to extract nectar from flowers. 

       It is called a clearwing due to the fact that patches of its wings are devoid of any scales.  Please note that the lantana blooms can been seen through the right wing of the clearwing depicted here.

       The snowberry clearwing is different than other clearwings because it has a cream-colored thorax and a yellow band running around its abdomen. 

       If you watch a snowberry clearwing for a few minutes, you will see that, like a chimney swift, it never stops flying as it feeds.

       The snowberry clearwing has two broods per year and can be seen flying about our yards from spring through summer.

       This moth is named the snowberry clearwing because one of its main host plants in snowberry.  The snowberry clearwing will, however, also use dogbane and honeysuckle as caterpillar hosts. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s