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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 ?
The large showy flowers of the Bignoniaceae are visited by large bees, birds, bats, and hawkmoths (Gentry, 1990; Endress, 1994).
Seeking an explanation for this apparent paradox, Ellington and his colleagues first tethered hawkmoths, Manduca sexta, inside a wind tunnel.
If the rain ever stops, elephant, eyed and poplar hawkmoth should all be found in the next few weeks.
A pioneer trapping experiment the next night at Marshside RSPB reserve by Neill Hunt and Simon 'Jellyhead' Jackson, brought more moth treasure in the form of shark, peach blossom, iron prominent and gold spot, amongst elephant, eyed and poplar hawkmoths.
Lime, poplar and elephant hawkmoths were all attracted to a light trap in the evening, while earlier in the day, he had been treated to a feeding hummingbird hawkmoth whizzing around flowerheads.
Warwickshire's insects also boast some incredible talents including the common ant, which can carry ten times its own bodyweight, and the Hummingbird Hawkmoth which is such a good impressionist it is often mistaken for a real Hummingbird.
By feeding tiny wires into pupae to form connections, they have made a hawkmoth flap a wing and a beetle alter direction.
And creatures like the hummingbird hawkmoth, that we filmed in slow motion.
Last month, a rare deaths head hawkmoth caterpillar was discovered by potato researchers at the University of Wales, Bangor.
The orchid's nectar spur is longer than that of any North American orchid, and not surprisingly, the hawkmoth has a long tongue to match.
Like an unnoticed memento mori, the leaves above the epithalamic pool "Hang as still as hawk or hawkmoth," the first recognizable as Hopkins' elegant-yet-deadly "Windhover" suspended above its prey; the second, a more common harbinger of death--both motionless, both waiting.
The most common hawkmoth encountered during the study was Ceratomia hageni.