Home / Hawk Moths (Sphingidae) / Snowberry Clearwing (Hemaris diffinis)

Snowberry Clearwing (Hemaris diffinis)

The snowberry clearwing moth is a member of the hawk moth family. French lepidopterist Jean Baptiste Alphonse Déchauffour de Boisduval first described this species in 1836.

Snowberry Clearwing


Scientific Classification

  • Family: Sphingidae
  • Genus: Hemaris
  • Scientific Name: Hemaris diffinis

Description and Identification


The larvae are green with black spots around each spiracle.

Snowberry Clearwing Caterpillar



Once mature, the caterpillars pupate in cocoons made of leaf litter.

Snowberry Clearwing Pupa


Adult Moth

Sexual Dimorphism: Present.

Females have a prominent brown margin around their wings.

Color and Appearance

When the wings are opened, they can be clear and have reddish-brown terminal borders. When the wings are closed, a dark scaling can be seen along their veins.

Average wingspan: 3.2 – 5 cm

Flight pattern: Erratic

Season: March-August

Hemaris diffinis



Females lay eggs close to the soil where the host plants can be found.

Quick Facts

DistributionCanada (Northwest Territories, British Columbia, southern Ontario, eastern Manitoba, and in western Quebec) and the United States (southern California, Illinois, Maine,
HabitatFields, gardens, open habitats, streamsides, and suburbs
Lifespan of AdultsNot recorded
Host PlantsCherry, dogbane, dwarf bush honeysuckle, hawthorn, honeysuckle, mint, plum, and snowberry
Adult DietNectar from flowers including Canada violet, dwarf bush honeysuckle, lantana, lilac, orange hawkweed, snowberry, and thistles

Did You Know

  • This moth has several nicknames in various parts of the Appalachia, including West Virginia, such as the “hummingbird moth” or “flying lobster”.
Snowberry Clearwing Image


Snowberry Clearwing Moth


Snowberry Clearwing Moth Picture


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