Hummingbird Hawk Moth Facts
- Many consider the Hummingbird Hawk Moth to be a beautiful and rather remarkable insect. Its mimicry of a hummingbird represents an excellent example of convergent evolution. It also skillfully imitates hummingbirds so well that it actually hovers in mid-air while feeding.
- In addition, this species flies throughout the entire day, unlike most other moths. The great majority of moths fly only at dawn and dusk. Furthermore, this incredible moth will also fly in the rain.
- This lovely Lepidoptera also continues to thrive across its entire endemic range. Quite sadly, many others continue to disappear rapidly. But its numbers actually seem to be increasing in some regions.
Hummingbird Hawk Moth Physical Description
First of all, the Hummingbird Hawk Moth has a rather medium-sized wingspan for a moth. That’s because its wings average slightly less than 1.8 in (4.6 cm) across. But, unlike many of its kind, it shows no sexual dimorphism.
The forewings typically show brown and are crisscrossed by thin black lines. But the hind wings usually show orange and display a black edge. The wings grow medium-sized, yet the body remains proportionately larger than related species.
Also, the proboscis is extremely elongated (again mimicking the hummingbird) because of the adaptations. The Hummingbird Hawk Moth also possesses a short tail tipped with numerous soft, brush-like bristles.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Arthropoda
- Class: Insecta
- Order: Lepidoptera
- Family: Sphingidae
- Genus: Macroglossum
- Species: M. stellatarum
Hummingbird Hawk Moth Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
Most notably, the Hummingbird Hawk Moth possesses a rather wide distribution across Asia, Africa, and also Northern Europe. Most are very strong fliers and may be found virtually anywhere in the hemisphere during the summer.
Further, this amazing invertebrate species evolved as quite adaptable. Due to this, it often inhabits a wide variety of habitats. These include such regions as forests, meadows, gardens, and parks.
Most unfortunately for its fans, it also has a short lifespan. because of this trait, it breeds quickly. Therefore, anywhere from 2-4 generations are born in a single season. This often depends on the region, as well.
The adults feed exclusively on nectar from plants such as the Red Valerian and Honeysuckle. The species itself, however, has few natural predators. This mainly holds true due to its incredible camouflage.