The Humming Bird Hawk Moth
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As beautiful as any butterfly, the Hummingbird Hawk-Moth can be found all over the UK. With orange/brown hindwings, greyish brown forewings and a black and white chequered body, this is a day time flying moth. The Hummingbird Hawk-Moth likes to hover in front of flowers in the sunshine, sipping the nectar with its long proboscis, just like the exotic bird that lends its name to this moth. It beats its wings between 70 – 80 times a second creating an audible hum and usually returns to the same flower bed every day at the same time of day, favouring long tubular flowers such as honeysuckle, salvias and valerian.
Look out for its caterpillars from June until October. They can be found on meadow and hedgerow plants such as Lady’s Bedstraw, Hedge Bedstraw and Wild Madder.
This moth is found all over England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. Its highest numbers are concentrated in the South of England. Its preferred habitats include gardens, woodland rides and urban areas. A medium – large size moth with a wingspan of about 50-58 mm. An immigrant from Southern Europe and North Africa, visiting our shores in the Summer, but possibly now a resident in certain parts.
The Hummingbird Hawk-Moth is an important pollinator, essential to the life cycle of many native plants.