Monday, 4 July 2011

Macroglossum stellatarum

Macroglossum stellatarum or to you and me The Humming Bird Hawk Moth. I photographed this one happily feeding on our lavender bushes at the front of the house. The lavender bushes were a mass of insect life this afternoon but this moth was a joy to watch and photograph as it hovered from flower to flower.


It is a species of Sphingidae. Its long proboscis and its hovering behaviour, accompanied by an audible humming noise, make it look remarkably like a hummingbird while feeding on flowers.

 

Adults are particularly fond of flowers with lots of nectar. They are reported to trap-line, i.e. return to the same flower beds at about the same time each day. I will see if that is true tomorrow.....

4 comments:

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

I just love these humming bird hawk moths. I have tried and tried to take photos of them but my supermarket camera cannot handle the speed!! Great photos. They are also all over my lavender. Diane

Jean said...

I love watching these little beauties as they flit from flower to flower on our little terrace. At first I didn't quite know what to make of them but as soon as I asked everyone knew what I meant. Fascinating creatures and I too have never managed to get a photo - well done!!

Craig said...

You captured them brilliantly. I miss the hummingbirds we used to have in our garden in California but these guys almost made up for it.
Well done on the photo!

mbaracaya said...

Wow! I saw one of these for the first time yesterday drinking nectar from a verbena bonaerensis - what a sight. I come from Argentina and miss the hummingbirds there, and I could hardly believe my eyes at this hummingbird/moth creature with the long proboscis! Your pics are great - thank you so much for sharing.