LIST OF CARESHEETS/SPECIES INFO: (Click on the names)
- Acherontia atropos (Deathshead-hawkmoth)
- Deilephila elpenor (Elephant hawkmoth)
- Hippotion celerio (Vine hawkmoth)
Sphingidae, also known as hawkmoths, are a family of moths with about 1500 recognised species.
They are often quite slender and agile, and important pollinators of flowers and excellent migrants. Often mistaken for hummingbirds, hawkmoths are able to hover in the air, and even capable of flying backwards. While there are some non-feeding species, most hawkmoths rely on flower nectar as their main source of food. Typical are the “tails” on the back end of the caterpillar (a hook on top of the backside above the anal prolegs). They are able to travel large distances in high velocity. Agrius convovuli, a species that migrates all the way from Africa to Europe, can reach 100km/h in a short distance, and fly at an average of 50km/h over a long distance, which is remarkable. These species often pupate in the soil or in leaf litter, preferring to burrow themselves as larvae.
The subfamily of Smerinthinae stands out for not being able to feed (but not always). The other subfamilies all have functional mouthparts.