Hummingbird Hawk Moth
Common name for a
of moth in the family Sphingidae,
with the scientific designation Macroglossum stellatarum. It is
one of just a
hawk moth that
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’.
hence the common name. They have a rather wide abdomen which is mainly tawny to
buff in colour, with smudges of black and white, as well as orange spots on the
lower sides, and a black, fluffy, fan-shaped tail, often with some white spots.
They also have faint transverse stripes in black and white, while some species also have a
wide maroon band with black margins towards the centre of the abdomen (fig.).
List of Thai Insect Names.
See also WILDLIFE PICTURES (1),