Hemaris Thysbe

My husband was outside yesterday when I heard him shout,Baby, come quick! There’s a moth out here that looks just like a hummingbird!!”  I grabbed my camera and ran to join him.  Sure enough, at the side of our driveway, hovering above our butterfly bush, was a moth w/wings so fast they could barely be seen.

Each wing had a clear, glass-like panel.

Its wingspan was maybe 2 inches or so, no where near the Luna Moth we’d found last year, but certainly impressive all the same.  We watched it dart amongst the flowers, and it seemed okay with me taking its photo as long as I stayed back.  It remained only a minute or so before zooming off.

Maybe it’s the Mainer in me, but with its body shape & tiny danglers I think it looks like a little flying lobster!  Anyway, after it took off, I went straight to the computer.  A quick Google search identified the creature as Hemaris thysbe, or Hummingbird Clearwing Moth.  With a range encompassing the entire eastern half of the continental United States, from Maine south to Texas and Florida, these amazing creatures may be waiting outside for you too.  I’ve submitted my sighting to BAMONA and am awaiting confirmation.  Very, very cool!

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54 thoughts on “Hemaris Thysbe

  1. I’ve never seen such a thing so that, for me, it could be the source for a wildly imaginative narrating of how it came to exist and its connection to a lobster.
    Your summer salads have led me to create a Sweet Potato Fruit Salad. Came out pretty good. I’ve figured out the recipe and sent it to your Sweet & Tangy Cole Slaw comment page of July 27th. Hope you try it. The aspice amounts are guess-timates because I like to shake in a little of this and a pinch of that. Kate

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    1. My family was here all last week. Every time my dad visits, we make a point of having “lobster fest” one of the nights for dinner. Would have made it so much more convenient, them flying straight to the back door, rather than having to, you know, CATCH them.. or in our case, buy them pre-caught & steamed. hahah

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  2. Wow, that is really amazing! I’ve never seen one. But when I was in Indiana, a hummingbird came and drank from a flower on a bush I was standing beside, and that was pretty cool. I didn’t get a picture, though.

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  3. I’ve never seen one personally, but there was a picture of one in the local paper just a week or so ago. I guess it’s their active season. And I thought the back end looked like a crayfish or lobster, too!

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  4. Wow, so vivid and clear. It does look like a hummingbird or a flying lobster. The flower was so beautiful. No wonder no butterfly or moth can’t resist. This could have been perfect for this weeks flower photo challenge. Thank for such a wonderful post.

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  5. Hello! I happened upon your blog today through a link on “Sodium Girl’s” blog. I was diagnosed with Menieres this summer, and have been trying to find fellow Menieres “foodies” for recipes. I can’t believe you captured a picture of this little creature – we saw one in our garden this summer and thought it was a hummingbird too. I had no clue what is was until today!

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    1. Hi Karen – WELCOME! So glad you found my blog. Sorry to hear about Meniere’s – I know how that goes.. but hopefully the diet will help alleviate your symptoms. As for this little guy – they are amazing! I saw several more in the weeks after this post, at one point there were 2 at one time feeding at the bush. So incredibly cool!

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