Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFSphingidae Members: 109 NC Records

Hemaris diffinis (Boisduval, 1836) - Snowberry Clearwing Moth



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Taxonomy
Superfamily: Bombycoidea Family: SphingidaeSubfamily: MacroglossinaeTribe: DilophonotiniP3 Number: 890179.00 MONA Number: 7855.00
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: The barcodes for H. diffinis indicate complexity out west but our populations seem to be a single species.
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: Adults have a yellowish thorax and probably are mimics of bumblebees or carpenter bees; they can also be recognized by the narrow black margin to the clear area on the hindwing -- in our other two species the black border is quite wide. The legs are black in diffinis but white in thysbe and reddish in gracilis. Sexes are similar.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: Larva are granulated like other Hemaris, but lack the subdorsal line found in thysbe and gracilis. Spiracles are surrounded by dark circular patches; the horn is black with a yellow patch at the base (see Wagner, 2005, for additional details). Pupation occurs underground.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Records from the Mountains are few but the species is certainly common across the Piedmont and Coastal Plain.
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
Immature 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: Probably two broods over most of the state.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Records for adults come from a variety of open habitats, ranging from Barrier Islands, beaver pond wetlands, to open fields and gardens. Larvae may occur anywhere where honeysuckles grow, which includes most wooded areas in the state as well as ruderal lands and other disturbed habitats.
Larval Host Plants: Oligophagous, feeding on members of the Caprifoliaceae, including honeysuckles and snowberry. Wagner (2007) reports dogbane and Amsonia are also foodplants. In North Carolina, we have larval records from both native Coral Honeysuckle and the exotic, invasive Japanese Honeysuckle.
Observation Methods: Diurnal, the species does not fly at night nor visit bait. Like butterflies, this species should be sought nectaring at flowers. Look for adults visiting flowers in fields and gardens that border or are close to wooded areas and fencerows where honeysuckle is growing.
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for General Mixed Habitats
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 statewide occurrence and use of a wide range of habitat types, including developed areas, makes it secure in the state.

 Photo Gallery for Hemaris diffinis - Snowberry Clearwing Moth

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

Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2022-06-30
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: David George on 2021-09-07
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: David George on 2021-09-07
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: David George on 2021-09-03
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: David George on 2021-08-16
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Bo Sullivan on 2021-08-09
Moore Co.
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Recorded by: David George on 2021-08-06
Pitt Co.
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Recorded by: Lior Carlson on 2021-08-03
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2021-07-29
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2021-07-13
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: David George on 2021-07-08
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Jeremy Paschall on 2021-07-05
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Jeremy Paschall on 2021-07-05
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Michael P. Morales on 2021-04-13
Cumberland Co.
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Recorded by: Michael P. Morales on 2021-04-13
Cumberland Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-10-05
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Aimee Allard on 2020-08-12
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Aimee Allard on 2020-08-12
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-08-11
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: C. Taunton on 2020-07-31
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Nora Murdock, Marilyn Westphal on 2020-04-22
Transylvania Co.
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Recorded by: Nora Murdock, Marilyn Westphal on 2020-04-22
Transylvania Co.
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Recorded by: Nora Murdock, Marilyn Westphal on 2020-04-22
Transylvania Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-08-17
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2019-06-14
Tyrrell Co.
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Recorded by: J. Brown on 2019-04-25
Dare Co.
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Recorded by: Salman Abdulali on 2018-09-03
Washington Co.
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Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2018-08-07
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Steve Dowlan on 2018-08-04
Watauga Co.
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Recorded by: J. Brown on 2018-06-26
Dare Co.
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