Sunday, July 19, 2009

Macro Monday: Clearwing Moth

I found this clearwing moth last August in the wild flowers at the St Croix Scenic Riverway's Marshland Visitors Center. At first I thought that it might be a nessus sphinx moth, which is similar and which I have seen in Minnesota in the past, but when I took a closer look I noticed that it did not have many scales on its wings which would make it a clearwing moth.

There are numerous different types of clearwings. My guess is that this is a slender clearwing. The wings, front and back, of the clearwing moths are hooked together with numerous curved spines. This is different then other moths, who have wings that are not attached to each other, and similar to wasps, which these moths often look like. This is a natural form of defense for these moths, which are often called wasp moths.

10 comments:

MommyWizdom said...

Ooooh, that one gives me the shivers. Nice capture!

MommyWizdom

The Laughing Idiot said...

Wow! It's amazing to see the wings flapping like that.

Jama said...

Beautiful catch!!

Tanja said...

Really great macro shot!

Abe Lincoln said...

We call these hummingbird moths. I just was looking at some of them in my archives, yesterday. This one is a nice looking example.

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June said...

Good capture!

Sarah said...

Oh wonderful shot!!! Hard to get moths in motion!! Stunning!!
Sarah

Rita said...

How surprised I was to discover that we both posted shots of the same insect. I will admit that you took the better picture.

Your info is very interesting. We had never seen one of these moths before and depended on a web search to name it. What we came up with was Hummingbird Moth. And it did sure look like one in flight.

Now I will have to go do some more research on your clearwing moth. Because it sure has clear wings also.

Thanks for the info.

Tammie Lee said...

I enjoy watching these little critters, they seem a bit like humming birds to me. Lovely capture.

amanda said...

Wonderful both the flowers of the vibrant butterfly weed and the Monarch your captured are stunning!