Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Hawk Moths or Sphinx Moths (Sphingidae) aka larvae known as the Green Hornworm

"Moths represent a biological storehouse of interesting, dramatic, and unusual behaviors, some with roles as pollinators, and others as food for other animals. All have interesting stories to tell if we will only take the time to stop, look, listen and smell the hidden world of moths and their flowers. Planting moonlight or a fragrance garden is a sure way to enjoy not only these wonderful blossoms, but also their nocturnal pollinators, especially the giant hawk moths."

"Hawk moths have the world’s longest tongues of any other moth or butterfly (some up to 14 inches long). Charles Darwin knew of the star orchids (Angraecum spp.) from Madagascar that had nectar spurs over a foot in length."

These magnificent animals have long narrow wings and thick bodies. They are fast flyers and often highly aerobatic. Many species can hover in place. Some can briefly fly backwards or dart away.  The caterpillars (larvae) of hawk moths feed on potato, tobacco, tomato, and other plants in the nightshade family (Solanaceae). 

Here are links to the hawk moths of Shasta County and Butte County.

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