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Hummingbird Hawk-moth

The Hummingbird Hawk-moth (Macroglossum stellatarum) is a species of hawk moth with a long proboscis. It is capable of hovering in place, as well as making an audible humming noise. These two features make it look remarkably like a hummingbird when it feeds on flowers. The forewings are brown and the hindwings are orange. The wingspan is 50-58 mm.

Adults may be encountered at any time of the year, especially in the south of the range and two or more broods are produced each year. They fly during the day, especially in bright sunshine. The larva is green with two stripes along the sides and the horn at the rear end typical of sphingids. It usually feeds on bedstraws and madders but has been recorded on other plants including Aster, Centaurea, Petunia, Phlox and various thistles.

The species is distributed throughout the Northern Hemisphere but is resident only in warmer climates. It is strongly migratory and can be found virtually anywhere in the hemisphere in the summer. However it rarely survives the winter in northern latitudes (eg. north of the Alps in Europe).

Hummingbird Hawk-moth


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