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Macroglossum stellatarum - caterpillar

Posted by
Johan Dierckx (Wijnegem, Belgium) on 9 September 2012 in Animal & Insect and Portfolio.

Macroglossum stellatarum (NL: Kolibrievlinder, Meekrapvlinder, Onrustvlinder - rups / EN: Hummingbird Hawk-moth, Hummingmoth - caterpillar / DE: Taubenschwänzchen, Taubenschwanz, Karpfenschwanz, Kolibrischwärmer - Raupe / FR: Moro sphinx, Sphinx colibri, Sphinx du caille-lait - chenille) is a species of Sphingidae. Its long proboscis and its hovering behaviour, accompanied by an audible humming noise, make it look remarkably like a hummingbird while feeding on flowers. It shouldn't be confused with the moths called hummingbird moths in North America, genus Hemaris, members of the same family and with similar appearance and behavior. The resemblance to hummingbirds is an example of convergent evolution. It flies during the day, especially in bright sunshine, but also at dusk, dawn, and even in the rain, which is unusual for even diurnal hawkmoths.

Newly hatched larvae are clear yellow, and in the second instar assume their green coloration. The larva is green with two grey stripes bordered in cream along the sides and the horn at the rear end typical of sphingids. The horn is purplish red, changing to blue with an orange tip in the last instar - as in this image. They feed fully exposed on the top of the host plant and rest in among a tangle of stems. Although dependent on warmth and sun, the larval stage can be as rapid as 20 days.

Image: Soglio (CH) – 12/07/2012

Canon EOS 400D 1/320 second F/5.6 ISO 200 150 mm

© Johan Dierckx

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All species are photographed in their natural habitat, without cutting or capturing them, and with maximal respect and the least possible disturbance to the environment.

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☺ ► ƸɼiϾ ◄ ☼ from Narbonne, France

very nice caterpillar, great shot too
have a nice sunday johan

9 Sep 2012 5:48am

☺ ► ƸɼiϾ ◄ ☼ from Narbonne, France

and congratulation for your portefolio, lots of nice shots and i ve the same passion than you,
i will keep an eyes on your shots when i ve time, bye

9 Sep 2012 5:53am

huri from tehran, Iran


9 Sep 2012 6:48am

omid from mashhad, Iran

very nice & amazing!!
so beautiful colors!

9 Sep 2012 8:06pm

LauraS from Chico, United States

Beautiful shot. Very interesting caterpillar.

9 Sep 2012 8:40pm

Heather J Snider from Ayr ON, Canada

You're a macro genius! I love your nature shots!

1 Oct 2012 1:23pm

Canon EOS 400D
1/320 second
ISO 200
150 mm