Snowberry Clearwing Happenings

molanic(Zone 5 IL)July 22, 2014

I was outside and supposed to be doing yard work... but you know how easy it is to get distracted when something flies past you! There was a snowberry clearwing hanging around and darting in and out of my arrowwood viburnum, laying eggs I think.

When it appeared to lay an egg ON THE FENCE behind the bush I made my way through the flower bed (crushing some plants along the way) to see if I could find any eggs. I did not find any eggs and the little stinker would not stay in one spot longer than a second for a picture. After much time chasing it around I did manage to get one picture and then quit to go back to work.
From 2014_07

A few minutes later something caught my eye again. Holy cannoli this was a new one for me.
From 2014_07

From 2014_07

They were getting freaky like this for over 10 minutes. I even got a video.

Then I got worried and thought maybe they were stuck and the lower one was either dying or had already died. I had previously seen a monarch flying around with a very obviously dead mate still attached to it. I went inside to look online. Surprisingly, I could not find any info on how long they normally take to do the deed. When I went back outside though I found that they had finally separated and were unharmed! I spent yet more time looking for their eggs on all my host plants.

It was a good day for butterflies and moths... a bad day for yard work apparently.

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Kristy Asao

That's a bizarre-looking moth. And I have no idea how long they mate. Lol

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 5:02PM
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Love your photos! Those Clearwing moths are really fun. I spent a few minutes looking at the other photos you had up on your Picasa album, and they are beautiful too. And you must be doing enough work in your yard, because the flowers are simply beautiful.

Am I correct in thinking that you have delphiniums blooming at the same time as goldenrods? How do you manage that?


    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 8:57AM
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molanic(Zone 5 IL)

Thanks Liz. I am in the stage now of trying to tie up or cut back flopping plants and re-edging my beds (which was at least a year overdue). I think you are probably talking about the picture with brown whirlygig thing in it. Those are similar looking to delphiniums but are actually tall bellflower. I started them last year from seed and they are flowering now for the first time. They are a real hit with the pollinators. The description says they are about 5', but I am 5'4" and some are well over a foot taller than me. Luckily, they seem pretty tough so far and haven't needed any staking even though they are in a spot that gets some shade.

I saw at least one of the snowberry clearwings in the garden again yesterday, they are so cute!

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 12:01PM
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woollybear69(9b Fla.)

Three very beautiful photos.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2014 at 1:31PM
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