Hawk-moths of the World

Sphingidae are a family of moths which are commonly known as Hawk-moths. They have a worldwide distribution, with the vast majority of species occurring in tropical regions of the world. There are approximately 1500 recognised species. Most adults have a stream-like aerodynamic structure and are known for their speed and agility in the air. Many are capable of long, sustained flight and some appear as migrants in most years having travelled great distances from other regions of the world.

Some species are often mistaken for hummingbirds since they have the capability of being able to hover in the air above flowers sipping nectar with their long proboscis. Flowers are the main food source for these enigmatic creatures. The majority of species are crepuscular and nocturnal however a small number are diurnal and fly in the daytime usually in sunshine.

I have always been fascinated with moths since my early childhood. I have been fortunate to see and photograph many species over the years. Below are some examples from my photographic library, which covers a wide diversity of species.

Barbary Spurge Hawk-moth Hyles tithymali tithymali_RST081771
Barbary Spurge Hawk-moth Hyles tithymali tithymali_RST081772
Barbary Spurge Hawk-moth Hyles tithymali tithymali_RST081773
Eupanacra elegantulus_RST049357
Eupanacra elegantulus_RST049356
Small-eyed Sphinx Paonias myops_RST054452
Broad-bordered Bee Hawk-moth Hemaris fuciformis_RST040773
Lime Hawk-moth Mimas tiliae_RST043352
Hummingbird Hawk-moth Macroglossum stellatarum_RST026758
Convolvulus Hawk-moth Agrius convolvuli_RST025634
Vega Sphinx Moth Proserpinus vega_RST054210
Vega Sphinx Moth Proserpinus vega_RST054212
Willowherb Hawk-moth Proserpinus proserpina_RST023452
Striped Hawk-moth Hyles livornica_RST038071
Spurge Hawk-moth Hyles euphorbiae_RST0479608
Spurge-Hawk-moth Hyles euphorbiae_RST0479607
Spurge Hawk-moth Hyles euphorbiae_RST0479606
Silver-striped Hawk-moth Hippotion celerio_RST014438
Silver-striped Hawk-moth Hippotion celerio_RST014437
Privet Hawk-moth Sphinx ligustri_RST023355
Privet Hawk-moth Sphinx ligustri_RST023354
Plain Grey Hawk-moth Psilogramma increta_RST074174
Nessus Sphinx Amphion floridensis_RST009673
Nessus Sphinx Amphion floridensis_RST009672
Oak Hawk-moth Marumba quercus_RST041042
Narrow-bordered Bee Hawk-moth Hemaris tityus_RST083385
Levant Hawk-moth Theretra alecto_RST016623
Levant Hawk-moth Theretra alecto_RST016622
Dusky Hawk-moth Hyles vespertilio_RST020519
Death's head Hawk-moth Acherontia atropos_RST015546
Banded Sphinx Eumorpha fasciata_RST086682
Waved Sphinx Ceratomia undulosa_RST072534
Velvet Hawk-moth Clanis undulosa_RST071429
Velvet Hawk-moth Clanis undulosa_RST071428
Twin-spotted Sphinx Smerinthus jamaicensis_RST043070
Twin-spotted Sphinx Smerinthus jamaicensis_RST043069
Theretra japonica_RST034123
Theretra japonica_RST034122
Spurge Hawk-moth Hyles euphorbiae_RST043366
Smoky Spurge Hawk-moth Hyles dahlii_RST054064
Smoky Spurge Hawk-moth Hyles dahlii_RST054063
Smoky Spurge Hawk-moth Hyles dahlii_RST054062
Small-eyed Sphinx Paonias myops_RST054459
Small Elephant Hawk-moth Deilephila porcellus_RST034498
Poplar Hawk-moth Laothoe populi_RST033391
Plain Grey Hawk-moth Psilogramma increta_RST073972
Plain Grey Hawk-moth Psilogramma increta_RST073971
Pine Hawk-moth Sphinx pinastri_RST053580
Pine Hawk-moth Hyloicus pinastri_RST012237
Oleander Hawk-moth Daphnis nerii_RST034504
Oleander Hawk-moth Daphnis nerii_RST034491
Northern Apple Sphinx Sphinx poecila_RST073165
Modest Sphinx Pachysphinx modesta_RST072738
Marumba gaschkewitschii_RST051753
Marumba gaschkewitschii_RST051752
Madder Hawk-moth Rethera komarovi_RST074443
Madder Hawk-moth Rethera komarovi_RST074442
Madder Hawk-moth Rethera komarovi_RST074441
Laurel Sphinx Sphinx kalmiae_RST054813
Laurel Sphinx Sphinx kalmiae_RST054812
Hissing Hawk-moth Phyllosphinga dissimilis_RST031738
Green Pergesa Pergesa acteus_RST049862
Green Pergesa Pergesa acteus_RST049861
Eyed Hawk-moth Smerinthus ocellata_RST025561
Eyed Hawk-moth Smerinthus ocellatus_RST026902
Coffee Bee Hawk-moth Cephonodes hylas_RST045877
Coffee Bee Hawk-moth Cephonodes hylas_RST045876
Coffee Bee Hawk-moth Cephonodes hylas_RST045875
Elephant Hawk-moth Deilephila elpenor_RST037793
Elephant Hawk-moth Deilephila elpenor_RST037792
Carolina Sphinx Manduca sexta_RST054489
Carolina Sphinx Manduca sexta_RST054488
Canadian Sphinx Sphinx canadensis_RST046973
Canadian Sphinx Sphinx canadensis_RST046972
Blinded Sphinx Paonias excaecatus_RST0442813
Blinded Sphinx Paonias excaecatus_RST0442816
Bedstraw Hawk-moth Hyles gallii_RST073367
Bedstraw Hawk-moth Hyles gallii_RST073366
Azalea Sphinx Darapsa choerilus_RST051386
Azalea Sphinx Darapsa choerilus_RST051385
Apple Hawk-moth Langia zenzeroides formosana_RST072468
Apple Hawk-moth Langia zenzeroides formosana_RST072467