This week for #FactFriday we are introducing the hummingbird hawk-moth (Macroglossum stellatarum)
The hummingbird hawk-moth is a small, day-flying hawk-moth. It is a summer visitor from May to September in the UK, migrating from Southern Europe in variable numbers each year. Adult hummingbird hawk-moths live for around 7 months.
The hummingbird hawk-moth has greyish-brown forewings, bright orange hindwings, and a greyish body with a broad, black-and-white ‘tail’. it hovers during flight, fluttering its wings so quickly that it can appear orange and makes an audible hum.
The similarity between the hummingbird hawk-moth and hummingbirds is believed to be a result of convergent evolution wherein two species belong to separate families and having no apparent relation with each other develop to be very similar. This is called homoplasy, when a trait has been gained or lost independently in separate lineages over the course of evolution.