Comprehensive Description

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General Description

A medium-size (3.5-5 cm wingspan) day-flying moth with translucent wings with narrow dark margins and the veins lined with dark scales. The forewing apex and base are red-brown. Both the head and thorax are olive-brown, the basal half of the abdomen is black with steel-blue patches and the posterior half is yellow, tipped with black. The larger Hummingbird Clearwing has wider margins on the wings, and dark olive brown, not yellow, patches on the abdomen. The Slender Clearwing (H. gracilis) is restricted to the boreal forest region, and lacks scaling in the forewing cell. Although not yet confirmed for Alberta, the very similar H. senta should be watched for in the mountains. "Most of the diagnostic characters (for separating senta and diffinis) are trends but some are fairly good. In senta, the first two abdominal segments are black and the next three segments are yellow (dorsally), while in diffinis the tendency is for the first three segments to be black and the next two segments are yellow (dorsally). In senta, the ventrum of the abdomen is almost all yellow except the black anal tuft and the legs are yellow, while in diffinis the ventrum of the abdomen has significant black and the legs are black... in addition, there is a black stripe running across the thorax from the eyes to the abdomen" (J. Tuttle, pers. corr., September 2001).
D. Macaulay image


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© University of Alberta Museums

Source: University of Alberta Museums

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