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(invertebrate zoology)
The single family of the lepidopteran superfamily Sphingoidea.



a family of hawk moths. They are of average and large size; the wingspan is 2 to 18 cm. They are characterized by a cigar-shaped body, narrow elongated forewings, and spindle-shaped antennae. The insects can fly with a velocity of up to 54 km/hr and “stand” in the air, sucking nectar from flowers with their long tongue while in flight. (The length of the tongue in the Madagascar hawk moth, Macrosila predicta, exceeds 25 cm.) Sphingidae caterpillars are always naked. They feed on leaves, stripping the shoots bare. There are about 1,200 species, which are found throughout the world. Most are found in the tropics; in the European part of the USSR there are 26 species, and about 40 are found in the Far East. Some members of the family Sphingidae are capable of long flights. (Daphnis nerii flies from the shores of the Black Sea to Finland.) The pupae winter in the soil. Some species are harmful to one or several closely related plants, most frequently woody plants. The pine hawk moth (Sphinx pinastri) and the eyed hawk moth (Smerinthus ocellatus) are among the harmful species in the USSR. The convolvulus hawk moth (Herse convolvuli) is useful in destroying bindweed in the southern Ukraine.


Kuznetsov, N. Ia. “Obzor semeistva Sphingidae palearkticheskoi i otchasti paleanarkticheskoi (kitaisko-gimalaiskoi) fauny.” Tr. Russkogo entomologicheskogo obshchestva, 1906, vol. 37, nos. 3–4.
Zhizn’ zhivotnykh. Edited by L. A. Zenkevich, vol. 3. Moscow, 1969.
Seitz, A. Die Gross-Schmetterlinge der Erde, section 1, vol. 2. Stuttgart, 1913.


References in periodicals archive ?
Hedrick and Daniel reported in 2006 in the Journal of Experimental Biology that hawk moths sweep and bend their wings in as many as 20 different orientations to dampen turbulence while hovering.
We investigated the reproductive consequences of herbivore damage on female (and not male) fitness in the hawk moth pollinated species Oenothera macrocarpa (Onagraceae) by manipulating both the level of leaf damage and the amount of pollen to the plant.
Last month they turned into chrysalis and today a Death's Head Hawk Moth hatched.
Hummingbirds have never been recorded in the wild anywhere in Europe, so you can be sure, if you've seen these fiery red humming wings, that you've spotted the hummingbird hawk moth.
I watched a hummingbird hawk moth last week hovering on front of a display of geraniums and I was struck by how the grey and black markings of its abdomen bore a striking resemblance to the olive-black shield-like head of the grass snake.
The hawk moth - which, in its larval or caterpillar form is known as the tomato hornworm - has a long proboscis that is especially well-suited to harvesting the nectar found at the base of Brugmansia's trumpet flowers.
STAFF at a B&B were amazed when a guest asked room service for salad leaves - for his Giant Indian Hawk Moth.
DURING August and part of September the caterpillars of the lime hawk moth will be racing down lime trees throughout Cardiff to find soft earth in which to burrow and become chrysalises for the winter - to emerge as beautiful large moths next spring.
Catlin swoops on Hawk The ride of the afternoon came from Chris Catlin, who weaved through the field from last to first on Hawk Moth in the 7f handicap.
The death's head hawk moth, made famous by the Anthony Hopkins Silence Of The Lambs film, has turned up in RSPB sites in the south-west of England.
READY TO HATCH: Kath Gilbert spots that trees along a path between Kirby Corner and Charter Avenue in Canley are blanketed by moth cocoons COLOURFUL ARRAY: From top, the frosted orange moth, scallop shell moth, goldspot moth, garden tiger moths and the elephant hawk moth
O wneud dipyn o ymchwil credaf mai gwyfyn ydi'r creadur yma, a'r enw Saesneg arno yw Elephant Hawk Moth, ac mae o mor fendigedig o dlws ar l dod o'r cocoon oedd amdano.