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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 ?
Morgansen and another AIRFOILS member, University of Washington biologist Tom Daniel, saw this special dance when they put hawk moths into a semicircle arena covered with LED panels.
The hummingbird hawk moth is abundant and resident all around Mediterranean countries, and across Central Asia to Japan.
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 Death's Head Hawk Moth - with its skull and crossbones type markings and used in the plot of the 1991 thriller The Silence of The Lambs - has been fascinating the children at Ysgol San Sior in Llandudno.
The caterpillars are large and range from a dull brown to a pinkish beige - and they have the identifying hook of hawk moths at the tail end.
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
The moth your reader Darren Ball photographed is the beautiful eyed hawk moth, the only British marbled brown hawk moth with striking blue and black eye-like markings on the salmon pink hind wings which it will quickly 'flash' if disturbed or threatened by a predator.
Gannon completed a quickfire 168-1 double with a skilful ride aboard Hawk Moth in the first division of the 7f nursery.
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.
Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Comma, Red Admiral and Painted Lady are all frequent, along with occasional Hummingbird Hawk moth.
The hummingbird hawk moth, abundant in Mediterranean countries, is now more common in Welsh gardens, too.
One species that is starting to do well in the West Midlands is the Hummingbird Hawk Moth," Mr Wyatt said.