Snowberry Clearwing
Hemaris diffinis
(A Hummingbird Moth)
15 July 2012

It had been seven years since I have last seen a hummingbird moth long enough to photograph, and the encounter was well worth waiting for, since the moth stayed nearby several minutes while I took around sixty photos, with four of the better photos following.

Thanks to resources on the web, such as, I was able to identify the hummer as a snowberry clearwing (Hemaris diffinis). I think "Snowberry" is a fantastic name! Ornithologists could learn a few things about naming from butterfly and moth people.

The snowberry clearwing, about an inch long, was somewhat smaller than the first humming bird moth I came across, but just as beautiful.

Hummingbird moth: a snowberry clearwing

Head on, the snowberry clearwing looks as if it is wearing a mask.
Snowberry clearwing, head on

All hummingbird moths dine on nectar from plants (and a good view here of the "clear wings").
Hummingbird moth, a snowberry clearwing, from above

The following is my favorite view: Humming in midair, the snowberry clearwing uses its long proboscis to sip nectar.
Hummingbird moth, a snowberry clearwing, enjoying nectar

The flowers, incidentally, are milkweed, the beloved plant of monarch butterflies.

Photography note: The photos were taken with a Pentax K20D, and the Voigtlander 125mm macro lens, on July 10, 2012.  

An earlier hummingbird moth   |   Pennsylvania butterflies

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