Hummingbird hawk-moth

Macroglossum stellatarum (69.010)

The Hummingbird Hawk-moth is unmistakable yet is easily overlooked unless is is actively feeding. It is a regular migrant to the UK and is seen in most years in Warwickshire and sometimes occurs in good numbers, especially following extended warm periods and southerly weather patterns that bring warm air from Portugal, Spain and France.

The adult moths which are generally seen between mid-June and October in Warwickshire fly during the day, usually in bright sunshine. When feeding, they hover like a hummingbird in front of flowers, using their long probosis to take nectar. This is usually observed in urban and suburban gardens where they feed on Red Valerian (Centranthus ruber), Honeysuckle, Buddleia and other flowers.

Adult moths will often rest on stones, walls and rock faces where their cryptic markings help them avoid the attention of predators.

Please note: From February 2023 all sightings records should be submitted via the iRecord Butterflies app available via the iTunes or Google Store. Find out more here: iRecord at Butterfly Conservation.