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Species Page - Hemaris gracilis
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scientific name    Hemaris gracilis    

common name     Slender Clearwing

Open wooded areas where the larval host plant, blueberry, occurs.

The only known Alberta record is for mid June.

This is one of three species of Hemaris in Alberta which mimic bumblebees. The Slender Clearwing can be distinguished from H. diffinis by the much broader hindwing margin, and brown as opposed to black bands on the thorax underside. Two characters easily distinguish gracilis from thysbe: the forewing cell of thysbe is crossed by a line (a vein with dark scaling), whereas this cell is unmarked in H. gracilis. The underside of the abdomen is completely yellow in thysbe, whereas gracilis has two longitudinal red-brown bands.

life history
Adults visit flowers during the day. Overwinters as a pupa underground or among ground litter. Although this species has two broods annually in more southerly parts of its range, it likely has only one in the short summers of the northern boreal forest.

Known from only one locality in Alberta, which is at the extreme northwest edge of its range.

diet info
In Alberta, adults nectar at Kinnikinik (Arcostaphylus uva-ursi), and likely other plants. Larvae are reported to feed on blueberry (Vaccinium) and other heaths (Ericaeae) in eastern North America.

The eastern seaboard of North America, north and west through central Canada to extreme northeastern Alberta. In was added to the Alberta fauna in 2000 when a specimen was collected in the Richardson River Dunes Wildland Park, just south of Lake Athabasca. The recent addition of this species to the Saskatchewan (Hooper 2001) and Alberta faunas are significant extensions of the previously reported range.

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Comments (1)Add New Comment

Lorraine (2011-06-01)
Today I saw what I thought was a very small hummingbird. Research tells me it was a hummingbird hawk-moth. I did get a photo, not bad given the quality of the camera. I''d love to send it to you. Get more info. It was quite exciting to see. I live in Ormstown Quebec, Canada.

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Related Species Info
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Specimen Info
There are 3 specimens of this species in the online database
Map Distribution
Adult Seasonal Distributioncreate a collection histogram with specimens
Specimen List (3)
Related Links
Moth Photographers Group


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