Moths of North Carolina
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55 NC Records

Hemaris thysbe (Fabricius, 1775) - Hummingbird Clearwing Moth



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Taxonomy
Superfamily: Bombycoidea Family: SphingidaeSubfamily: MacroglossinaeTribe: DilophonotiniP3 Number: 890177.00 MONA Number: 7853.00
Comments: A Holarctic genus of 19 species of which 4 occur in North America and 3 in North Carolina. They are often called hummingbird or bumblebee moths, and are among the best known Sphingids to North Carolinians.
Species Status: Bar codes indicate the species is homogeneous.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984); Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, BAMONATechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1948); Hodges (1971); Tuttle (2007)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Forbes (1948); Wagner (2005); Tuttle (2007)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: These moths are often believed to be birds or large bees by the public; their ability to hover and rapidly fly away are impressive. Hemaris thysbe has a greenish thorax and is marked with crimson on its wings and abdomen; fore legs are white. Sexes are similar. Resembles H. gracilis but is larger and the clear area in both wings has a scalloped rather than even outer edge; in mounted specimens, the cell in the forewing has a line of scales running through it which is absent in H. gracilis. Hemaris diffinis has a yellowish thorax and the area devoid of scales is much larger in the hindwing than in either thysbe or gracilis. Leg color also differs between all three species: forelegs are white in thysbe, red in gracilis, and black in diffinis.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: Larvae are green and granulated, with a pair of light dorsal lines and a pale, yellowish subdorsal line (Forbes, 1948; see Wagner, 2005, for an illustration). Pupation occurs underground.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Probably occurs statewide, although records are missing from the Barrier Islands and High Mountains.
County Map: Clicking on a county returns the records for the species in that county.
Flight Dates:
 High Mountains (HM) ≥ 4,000 ft.
 Low Mountains (LM) < 4,000 ft.
 Piedmont (Pd)
 Coastal Plain (CP)

Click on graph to enlarge
Flight Comments: In the piedmont and coastal plain there appear to be two broods.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Adults are often seen in gardens and other open, flower-rich habitats. The wooded or shrubby habitats used by the larvae range from dry acidic sandhills and mountain ridges where blueberries are abundant to rich bottomlands and mesic slopes where viburnums are prevalent.
Larval Host Plants: Polyphagous, feeding on Viburnums but also on honeysuckles and various members of the Rosaceae (Forbes, 1948; Wagner, 2005). Tuttle (2007) adds blueberries and cranberry, both in the Ericaceae, although exactly which species are used in any area is uncertain.
Observation Methods: The moths are diurnal and do not come to light traps. Look for the adults visiting flowers, often in open areas but usually near wooded areas where their host plants occur. They do not come to bait.
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for General Forests and Shrublands
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G5 [S5]
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: Its widespread occurrence across the state and use of a broad range of habitats makes this species relatively secure.

 Photo Gallery for Hemaris thysbe - Hummingbird Clearwing Moth

37 photos are available. Only the most recent 30 are shown.

Recorded by: David George, L.M. Carlson, Becky Watkins on 2022-08-07
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Marilyn Westphal on 2022-07-17
Henderson Co.
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Recorded by: Ashley Horrocks on 2022-04-08
Onslow Co.
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Recorded by: Ashley Horrocks on 2022-04-08
Onslow Co.
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Recorded by: Ashley Horrocks on 2022-04-08
Onslow Co.
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Recorded by: David George on 2021-09-07
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2021-08-12
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: David George on 2021-08-08
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2021-07-29
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Darryl Willis on 2021-05-25
Cabarrus Co.
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Recorded by: Andrea Brown on 2020-08-22
Davidson Co.
Comment: Photos taken outside my house between 945-1000 Saturday August 22, 2020. Specimen was feeding on flowers of aquatic plant located in a small man made fish pond. Additional photos are available if needed.
Recorded by: Andrea Brown on 2020-08-22
Davidson Co.
Comment: Photos taken outside my house between 945-1000 Saturday August 22, 2020. Specimen was feeding on flowers of aquatic plant located in a small man made fish pond. Additional photos are available if needed.
Recorded by: Andrea Brown on 2020-08-22
Davidson Co.
Comment: Photos taken outside my house between 945-1000 Saturday August 22, 2020. Specimen was feeding on flowers of aquatic plant located in a small man made fish pond. Additional photos are available if needed.
Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-08-23
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-08-23
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Marilyn Westphal on 2019-07-11
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-08-28
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-08-28
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Salman Abdulali on 2018-08-24
Davie Co.
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Recorded by: Kathryn Fawcett on 2018-07-23
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Kathryn Fawcett on 2018-07-23
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Kathryn Fawcett on 2018-07-23
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Susan Carroll on 2018-07-14
Catawba Co.
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Recorded by: Susan Carroll on 2018-07-14
Catawba Co.
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Recorded by: Lori Owenby on 2017-04-28
Catawba Co.
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Recorded by: Lior Carlson on 2016-06-24
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: John Petranka on 2015-09-06
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Marilyn Westphal on 2015-08-13
Haywood Co.
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Recorded by: A. Allcox on 2014-08-08
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Steve Hall on 2013-04-25
Granville Co.
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