Hummingbird Hawk Moth Facts
- Many consider the Hummingbird Hawk Moth to be a beautiful and rather remarkable insect. Their mimicry of a hummingbird represents an excellent example of convergent evolution. They also skillfully imitate hummingbirds so well that they actually hover in mid-air while feeding.
- This species flies throughout the entire day, unlike most other moths. The majority of moths fly only at dawn and dusk. This one will also fly in the rain.
- This lovely Lepidoptera continues to thrive across its entire endemic range, while many others are disappearing rapidly. Their numbers are actually increasing in some regions.
Hummingbird Hawk Moth Physical Description
The Hummingbird Hawk Moth has a rather medium-sized wingspan for a moth. Their wings average slightly less than 1.8 in (4.6 cm) across.
The forewings typically show brown and crisscrossing by thin black lines. The hind wings usually show orange and display a black edge. Their wings are medium-sized, yet the body is much larger than that of most moths with a similar wingspan.
Their proboscis is extremely elongated (again mimicking the hummingbird) because of their adaptations. The Hummingbird Hawk Moth also possesses a short tail tipped with numerous soft, brush-like bristles.
They even make a “humming” sound when they hover.
This is a truly interesting insect.
Species: M. stellatarum
Hummingbird Hawk Moth Distribution and Ecology
The Hummingbird Hawk Moth possesses a rather wide distribution across Asia, Africa, and also Northern Europe. They are very strong fliers and may be found virtually anywhere in the hemisphere during the summer.
This species is quite adaptable and inhabits a wide variety of habitats such as forests, meadows, gardens, and parks.
They have a rather short lifespan, with anywhere from 2-4 generations being born in a single season.
The adults feed exclusively on nectar from plants such as the Red Valerian and Honeysuckle.
The species has few natural predators, due to their incredible camouflage.