Snowberry Clearwing (Hemaris diffinis)

Order: Lepidoptera (le-pid-OP-ter-a) (Info)
Family: Sphingidae (SFIN-gi-dee) (Info)
Genus: Hemaris
Species: diffinis

Regional

This bug has been reportedly found in the following regions:

Vincent, Alabama
Barling, Arkansas
Marion, Arkansas
Berkeley, California
Jacksonville, Florida
Westchester, Illinois
Rossville, Indiana
Hebron, Kentucky
Durham, Maine
Crofton, Maryland
Severn, Maryland
Onekama, Michigan
East Moriches, New York
Mechanicville, New York
Greensboro, North Carolina
Akron, Ohio
Findlay, Ohio
Glouster, Ohio
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Plano, Texas
Stephenville, Texas
West Dummerston, Vermont
Liberty, West Virginia
Saint Albans, West Virginia
Wellsburg, West Virginia
Show all

Members' Notes:

2
positives
2
neutrals
0
negatives
RatingContent
Neutral

On Aug 21, 2006, Magpye from NW Qtr, AR (Zone 6a) wrote:

Snowberry clearwings are regarded as important pollinators, and they are a common sight in Arkansas gardens. They dart quickly from flower to flower sipping nectar in full sunlight. Their wings beat rapidly, giving the animals the appearance of large bees or small hummingbirds.

The species has a large range, encompassing much of the United States and Canada, and its coloration varies seasonally, geographically, and individually. This variation historically caused much confusion, with the naming of many forms as different species.

The larvae, which are typical hornworms except for their rather small size, are green with black spots around each spiracle.
They feed on snowberry, dogbane, honeysuckle, and dwarf bush honeysuckle.

Positive

On Feb 21, 2007, BST_Lover from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

This is an image of both the brown form and green form of the caterpillar of Hemaris diffinis. Note that the green forms have a basal brown line below the green. The brown form instar is one of the first reported in the first instar of growth. Oftentimes it is found after the green form has changed to brown in later instars. This was a brown form hatchling, so unusual.

Host plants are snowberries, viburnums, and honeysuckle. I found mine on my honeysuckle bush. I have 5 cocoons in the vegetable compartment of my refridgerator and I take them out once a month and give them a water bath (to prevent dessication; the water is the same temperature as they are kept in, with crumpled pieces of paper towel, which I spritz with water before returning them to the fridge. I wil... read more

Positive

On Jun 30, 2009, Mainer from Durham, ME (Zone 3a) wrote:

They buzz around pollinating lots of flowers in my garden and phlox seems to be one thing they like in particular around here and the delphiniums. Seen around the mock orange bush too.

Neutral

On Sep 4, 2009, bsgardens from Jacksonville, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

In caterpillar form ... they love my tomato leaves. : /