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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. 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.). See also List of Thai Insect Names. See also WILDLIFE PICTURES (1), (2) and (3).