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Hummingbird Hawkmoth (Macroglossum stellatarum)

The Hummingbird Hawk-moth (Macroglossum stellatarum) is a species of Sphingidae, hawk moth with a long proboscis, which regularly hovers, making an audible humming noise. These two features make it look remarkably like a hummingbird when it feeds on flowers; it is theorised that this is a result of convergent evolution. It flies during the day, especially in bright sunshine, but also at dusk, dawn, and even in the rain, which is unusual for even diurnal hawkmoths. Its visual abilities have been much studied, and it has been shown to have a relatively good ability to learn colours.


The forewings are brown, with black wavy lines across them, and the hindwings are orange with a black edge. The abdomen is quite broad, with a fan-tail of setae at the end. The wingspan is 40–45 mm.


In the southern parts of its range, the Hummingbird Hawk-moth is highly active even when temperatures are high, and thoracic temperatures above 45 °C have been measured. This is among the highest recorded for hawkmoths, and near the limit for insect muscle activity



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Uploaded on October 24, 2009