Hummingbird Hawk-moth - Macroglossum stellatarum

    Description

    Wingspan 40-50 mm. It flies in the sunshine and hovers in front of flowers, sipping the nectar with its long proboscis, very much like the Hummingbird which gives it its name.

    Identification difficulty
    Habitat

    Gardens, parks and other areas where its food plants occur.

    When to see it

    June to August are the main months. Has been recorded in winter, and is known to hibernate, and therefore spring records may refer to overwintering individuals rather than new immigrants. Mainly diurnal, visiting Aubrietia, Buddleia, Viper's Bugloss, Red Valerian and various other plants.

    Life History

    The larvae feed on Bedstraw, and some of these may hatch and give rise to autumn adults in an influx year.

    UK Status

    An immigrant species which sometimes occurs in large numbers. A large influx occurred in the summer of 2000, when moths were observed in parks and gardens all over Britain. The species was again quite common in 2003 and 2006. In a recent survey to determine the status of all macro moths in Britain this species was classified as a migrant.

    VC55 Status

    Occasional. It is generally a fairly uncommon species in Leicestershire and Rutland, but numbers increase in good migration years. L&R Moth Group status = C (very scarce resident or rare migrant)

    Reference
    69.010 BF1984

    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    UK Map