Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2008/07/28

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Subject: [Leica] Re: IMG: Another Swallowtail and an Unknown Insect
From: clzeni at (Craig Zeni)
Date: Mon Jul 28 05:45:19 2008
References: <>

> Date: Sun, 27 Jul 2008 12:06:15 -0500
> From: "Jim Nichols" <>
> Subject: [Leica] IMG: Another Swallowtail and an Unknown Insect
> To: "" <>
> Cc:
> Message-ID: <B5CE7FF47CE54161B0ADC6CCCD4E0780@jimnichols>
> Content-Type: text/plain;     charset="iso-8859-1"
> Our patio flowers continue to attract subjects for photos, though  
> the subjects are never very cooperative. Two examples are attached,  
> and I need help identifying one of the insects.
> This Black Swallowtail shows up most days, but never stays long.   
> Today, I got an opportunity for an image.
> This unknown specie, larger than most bumblebees and having an  
> unusual rear shape with no evident stinger, shows up each day, but  
> this is the first time I could get near it with my camera. The  
> wings never stop moving, even when it rests on a bloom, so a photo  
> presents quite a challenge.
> Can anyone identify this one?  I have looked at all our reference  
> books, and searched online, but have seen nothing like it.

 From my buddy the entomologist Dr. Bug:

Snowberry clearwing
Hemaris diffinis (Boisduval, 1836)

Attributes of Hemaris diffinis
Family: Sphinx Moths, Hawkmoths (Sphingidae)
Subfamily: Macroglossinae (Macroglossinae)
Identification: Adults mimic bumblebees. Wings are transparent with  
dark brown to light brownish orange borders. Forewing cell lacks dark  
Life history: Adults fly swiftly during the day. Caterpillars pupate  
in cocoons spun in leaf litter on the ground.
Flight: . Two broods from March-August.
Wing span: 1 1/4 - 2 inches (3.2 - 5 cm).
Caterpillar hosts: Snowberry (Symphoricarpos), honeysuckle  
(Lonicera), dogbane (Apocynum), and dwarf bush honeysuckle (Diervilla  
Adult food: Nectar from flowers including lantana, dwarf bush  
honeysuckle, snowberry, orange hawkweed, thistles, lilac, and Canada  

Friends with Esoteric Knowledge, NC

Replies: Reply from jhnichols at (Jim Nichols) ([Leica] Re: IMG: Another Swallowtail and an Unknown Insect)