Species of The Week: Snowberry Clearwing

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July 18–26 marks Moth Week so, we decided to feature what we’re pretty confident is the Snowberry Clearwing as our Species of the Week. Part of a group known as Small Sphinx Moths, Snowberry Clearwings are often mistaken for their close cousin, the Hummingbird Clearwing. Interestingly, they are also confused with insects outside of their Order, Lepidoptera — which includes moths, skimmers, and butterflies. As a matter of fact, Snowberry Clearwings are often confused with bees, having evolved in appearance as a deterrent against predators who understand the risk of such stinging snacks. Different from bees, Snowberry Clearwings hover while feeding with their proboscis (tubular mouthpart), much like actual Hummingbirds, rather than perch. That said, their mouthparts are similar to bees’ — they are used for extracting nectar from a variety of flowering plants, including Dogbane, Honeysuckle, and, of course, Snowberry. As crepuscular (appearing at twilight) insects, Snowberry Clearwings are often found feeding on these flowers at dusk.

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