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Posts Tagged ‘Sphinx’

Mixing in within the other months, skippers and butterflies, were a few Sphinx Moths, one very large. They are quite skittish, so I used a long lens to capture this, the largest one (wingspan 5-6″). I used a Canon 400 f/4.0 DO IS with extension tube in the late afternoon with a Canon 1DS Mark III:

Some hawk moths, such as the hummingbird hawk moth or the white-lined sphinx, hover in midair while they feed on nectar from flowers, so are sometimes mistaken for hummingbirds. This hovering capability is only known to have evolved four times in nectar feeders: in hummingbirds, certain bats, hoverflies, and these sphingids (an example of convergent evolution). Sphingids have been much studied for their flying ability, especially their ability to move rapidly from side to side while hovering, called ‘swing-hovering’ or ‘side-slipping.’ This is thought to have evolved to deal with ambush predators that lie in wait in flowers.

 

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