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Hummingbird hawk moth in flight

The hummingbird hawk-moth (Macroglossum stellatarum) is a species of hawk moth found across temperate regions of Eurasia, from Portugal to Japan. Its long proboscis (25–28 mm; 0.98–1.10 in) and its hovering behavior, accompanied by an audible humming noise, give it a resemblance to the hummingbird. Like hummingbirds, it feeds on flowers which have tube-shaped corollae; this is an example of convergent evolution. The hummingbird hawk-moth flies during the day, especially in bright sunshine, but also at dusk, dawn, and even in the rain, which is unusual for even diurnal hawk moths. It engages in free hovering flight, which allows more maneuverability and control than fixed-wing flight, despite high energetic cost. This hummingbird hawk-moth in flight was photographed near Yastrebets in Rila, a mountain range in Bulgaria.

Photograph credit: Charles J. Sharp

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