Photo by La Verne Cook (Snowberry Clearwing)


This little guy was chowing down on Joe Pye Weed.  Thanks for the web site to help me identify my "mystery bee". It looks like these moths have various looks.  Some are red, some gray and then there's yellow/black like mine.  It is varieties or what?


Answer:  Varieties indeed! Many of them! The moths in Family Sphingidae are classified by Sub-family, Tribe, Genus and Species. Moths of this family in general, are commonly called "Hummingbird Moths" because of their common characteristic of feeding while hovering in a hummingbird-like fashion. Only two members of the Sphingidae family actually include the word "Hummingbird" in the common name: Hemaris Thysbe - the "Hummingbird Clearwing" and Macroglossum stellatarum -  the "Hummingbird Hawk Moth". See www.chinamoth.org for a good breakdown of the varieties.