web analytics

Hummingbird Clearwing Moth (Hemaris thysbe)

Posted on Jul 23, 2016

Here we have the Hummingbird Clearwing Moth (Hemaris thysbe) to kick off National Moth Week (July 23-31), appropriately photographed yesterday in a gratifying yet frustrating experience. I found it feeding on Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) while watering in the morning, and because I was watering I did not have my camera (always a great tactic to ensure a good sighting). After running back inside and all the way around…yep, still there. Great. As usual with wildlife I approached it with caution, slowly, shooting while closing in on the moth. The species moves quickly while drinking, and not just those wings, so in this case the strategy is definitely to take hundreds of photos in hopes of attaining the perfect few. However, it took seconds for my viewfinder to fog up thanks to the cold from air conditioning camera being brought outside into the high dew point, and I knew I was soon to be doomed.

Hummingbird Clearwing Moth-8769

Hummingbird Clearwing Moth-8770

I kept shooting without being able to see much, focusing as best I could, until the lens fogged up a minute later. Show over. It allowed me within arm’s reach for five minutes after that, and I could have had otherworldly shots. It flew off before the camera warmed up. I’ll settle for these and being able to tell that story.

Scott Kruitbosch
Conservation & Outreach Coordinator