Moths in genus Hemaris are known collectively as clearwing moths or hummingbird moths in the US and bee hawk-moths in Britain. There are 23 accepted species. Four species are native to North and South America, and three to Europe. The related Old World hummingbird hawk-moths, genus Macroglossum, are similar in appearance and habits. Both genera have tails that are provided with an expansile truncated tuft of hairs, but only Hemaris has the disc of the wings transparent.
The imagoes, or adults, are small, diurnal moths that resemble bumblebees in shape. They are often mistaken for hummingbirds. The forewings are fully scaled, but in some species patches of scales are lost during the first flight, leaving a glassy hyaline area on each wing. The antennae are strongly clubbed in both sexes and each has a small, recurved hook at the end. The abdomen ends in a large fan of setae.
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