The Caterpillar Lab fosters greater appreciation and care for the complexity and beauty of our local natural history through live caterpillar educational programs, research initiatives, and photography and film projects. We believe that an increased awareness of one’s local environment is the foundation on which healthy and responsible attitudes towards the broader natural systems of this world is built.

© 2015 CATERPILLAR LAB INC.  With original artwork by Heather Reid and Samuel Jaffe

 

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HUMMINGBIRD CLEARWING

February 18, 2016

 

Anyone who’s had the pleasure of seeing them in their garden knows Hummingbird Clearwing (Hemaris thysbe) moths are special. I was first introduced to hummingbird moths by my mother, who often sees them nectaring at flowers in my parents’ yard in Pennsylvania. Like many folks, at first she thought these creatures were hummingbirds, but up close, they looked more like butterflies than birds. After some research, she discovered their true identity and we started looking for them together when I visited home from college.

 

Years later, when I began my graduate internship at The Caterpillar Lab, I happily met some caterpillars of hummingbird-like moths. They are delightfully sweet creatures. Check out these pictures of Hummingbird Clearwing larvae and see for yourself!

 

Want to attract Hummingbird Clearwing moths to your backyard? There are several flowers you can plant to lure them in, especially butterfly bush, sweet rocket, and phlox. If your yard has viburnum, honeysuckle, or snowberry, you can check those plants for the unassumingly pretty larvae pictured here.

 

- Liz Kautz
TCL Education Director

 

Each week (or at least SOME weeks!) The Caterpillar Lab features a "Caterpillar of the Week." Each featured caterpillar is a species we've raised at our lab in Keene, NH. We hope you enjoy meeting the caterpillars of New England!

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