Re hummingbird moth

Schmit Pierre pierre.schmit at
Thu Aug 21 02:58:13 EDT 1997

Ted Ryznar wrote :
>>Anyone know how to sex these moths. I caught one and am trying to determine
>>its sex. Also any ideas or methods of obtaining ova if its a female? Any
>>help appreciated.
the main feature to sex an hummingbird moth ( Hemaris thysbe) , as for the other sphingids
is the presence for the males of a frenulum . This appendix is absent on females .
This appendix connect together the forewing and hindwing .Observing the moth on the reverse 
side you will see ( for a male ) a small hook located on the basal area , upper border 
of the hindwing which slide in a small ring on the forewing . 
an other characteristic , but which is more difficult to appreciate, if you have only 
one specimen is the antenna which is slitly thinner for the female.
To get ova ,you will need probably a big cage with the food plant( cherries, plums,
honeysuckle, snowberry) , because ,the femalle lay eggs one at a time on the reverse
side of the leave , whilst she is still flying in front,as she does also for eating.
I had the chance to film such action of laying eggs a couple of years ago.
Good luck.

Pierre Schmit


pierre.schmit at


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