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LEXICON

 

 

Hummingbird Hawk Moth

Common name for a species of moth in the family Sphingidae, with the scientific designation Macroglossum stellatarum. It is one of just a few species of hawk moth that are able to hover in midair, as well as has the capability to move swiftly from side to side whilst hovering, a quality that both allows for added intake of food, but also one that burns up more energy. This side-slipping ability, akin to that of hummingbirds and usually practiced during feeding, is referred to as swing-hovering (fig.). To suck up large amounts of nectar needed to support its rather large-sized body, Hummingbird Hawk Moths are armed with an elongated, retractable roll-up tongue, This feature is described in the first part of this species' Latin-scientific name, i.e. macroglossum, which literally means ‘big tongue’. When hovering, Hummingbird Hawk Moths are reminiscent of hummingbirds, hence the common name. See also List of Thai Insect Names. See also WILDLIFE PICTURES (1) and (2).