On a tiny little greek island
this little creature showed up every morning:
At first we thought it was a humming-bird, because it stood still
in the air, putting its long
bill deep into the flower to get some nectar. Then we realised that
we never learned
that there are humming-birds in Greece, so we just had to look a
It was no bird at all, but some kind of an insect, but it couldn't
be more alike, except for
the trunk - look closely at the upper left picture. On its tail
it seemed like it had two
white eyes with a mask around, so you could get confused and think
it was sitting
(flying) the other way around, just like a Volkswagen.....
Anyone knowing about this little one?
Yes, there is. And we found a lot of info when we finally got this
Wingspan between 4 and 4,5 cm
FromWalter Schön's Schmetterling-Seiten
And here is some of what he can tell:
Diurnal. In behaviour, this moth is exceptional amongst European
Sphingidae: whilst preferring
to fly in bright sunlight, it will also take wing at dawn, at dusk
or at night; in rain, or on cool,
dull days. Very hot weather tends to induce a state of torpidity
in many, with activity then
confined to the relative cool of the morning and late afternoon.
Herrera (1992) found maximum activity occurring between 18.00 and
20.00 hours in southern Spain.
Whatever the flight-time, this species is very strongly attracted
to flowers yielding plentiful
supplies of nectar, such as Jasminum, Buddleja, Nicotiana, Tulipa,
Primula, Viola, Syringa, Verbena, Echium, Phlox and Stachys, hovering
in front of and repeatedly probing each
bloom before darting rapidly to the next. A great wanderer, being
present right across Europe from the alpine tree-line to city centres,
wherever nectar flowers may be found. Its powers
of flight are amazing, and have been studied in detail by Heinig
(1987). Apparently, this
species also has a fine memory, as individuals return to the same
flower-beds every day
at about the same time
From southern Europe and North Africa to Central Asia, the Middle
East and Pakistan.
A noted summer migrant to the north. In the southernmost part of
its resident range, confined to mountains, as in Iran and Oman.
This is only one of two species of sphingid to have reached the
Azores (Meyer, 1991).
Extra-limital range. The entire temperate Palaearctic Region as
far east as Japan and the
Russian Far East. In winter, a migrant as far south as southern
India and the Gambia in Africa.
A single specimen has been recorded from North America, from Unimak
This was discovered during 1968 in a University of Washington collection
curated by Mike van Buskirk. He had no idea when it had been collected
but suspected between 1930 and 1950.
From Walter Schön'sSchmetterling-Seiten
and here you will find pictures from the very beginning of it's