Monday, 16 May 2011

Hummingbird Moth (Hummingbird Hawk-moth) : Macroglossum stellatarum

File:IC Macroglossum stellatarum1 NR.jpg

Macroglossum stellatarum, known as the Hummingbird Hawk-moth, is a species of Sphingidae. Its long proboscis and its hovering behaviour, accompanied by an audible humming noise, make it look remarkably like a hummingbird while feeding on flowers. It shouldn't be confused with the moths called hummingbird moths in North America, genus Hemaris, members of the same family and with similar appearance and behavior. The resemblance to hummingbirds is an example 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.

Seen the Hummingbird Hawk-Moth in the UK? Please leave a comment below with the location you've seen it!