The pupae are pale brownish with a prominent, keeled proboscis, and two sharp spines at the end of the cremaster.They are enclosed in loose silken cocoons among the host plant debris or on the ground among leaf litter.
at rest in a breeding cage,France
The forewings are brown, with black wavy lines across them, andthe hindwings are orange with a black edge. The abdomen is quitebroad, with a fan-tail of setae at the end. The wingspan is40
45 mm.In the southern parts of its range, the Hummingbird Hawk-moth ishighly active even when temperatures are high, and thoracictemperatures above 45 °C have been measured.
This is amongthe highest recorded for hawkmoths, and near the limit for insectmuscle activity
Larvae usually feed on bedstraws or madders (
) but has been recorded on other Rubiaceae and
Adults are particularly fond of flowers with lots of nectar (e.g.
). They are reported to trap-line, i.e. return to the same flower bedsat about the same time each day. This insect pollinates many popular garden flowers which form tube-like organscontaining nectar.
•All life stages pictured
•More photos, and Pittaway's description
Herrera (1992). "Activity pattern and thermal biology of a day-flying hawkmoth (
) under Mediterranean summerconditions".
56. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2311.1992.tb01038.x.Pittaway, AR. (1993).
The Hawkmoths of the Western Palaearctic
. Harley Books, London.Kelber, Almut (1996). "Colour learning in the hawkmoth
J. Exp. Biol.