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Let’s go 'mothing'
© patriziomartorana/iStock/Getty Images Plus
In the Lepidoptera order of the animal kingdom, it’s butterflies who get all the glory. But we’d argue it’s their relatives, moths, that have the better story. With more than 160,000 species of moths around the world, moths outnumber butterfly species roughly 10 to 1. While most are nocturnal, the hummingbird hawk-moth on our homepage today breaks the mold. Found throughout Africa, Asia, and Europe, it’s shown here in the daylight of southern Sardinia, sipping nectar with its straw-like appendage known as a proboscis. Like a hummingbird, the moth makes a soft buzzing sound as it hovers over the flowers whose nectar it feeds on exclusively.
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Quick fact:Both hummingbirds and hummingbird hawk-moths hover by beating their wings in a figure-8 pattern. Hummingbirds make around 50 wingbeats per second, but hummingbird hawk-moths make 85.
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