hawk moth

hawk moth
any of numerous moths of the family Sphingidae, noted for their very swift flight and ability to hover while sipping nectar from flowers. Also called sphingid, sphinx moth, hummingbird moth.
[1775-85]

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or sphinx moth

Any moth of the lepidopteran family Sphingidae.

Found worldwide, these stout-bodied moths have long, narrow forewings and shorter hind wings, with wingspans ranging from 2 to 8 in. (5–20 cm). Many species pollinate flowers while sucking nectar; the proboscis of some species is up to 13 in. (32.5 cm) long. Some hawk moths migrate. The larvae, which are smooth and have a dorsal "horn," are called hornworms; larvae of two North American species
the tobacco, or southern, hornworm, and the tomato, or northern, hornworm
attack tomato, tobacco, and potato crops.

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insect
also called  sphinx moth , or  hummingbird moth 
 any of a group of sleek-looking moths (moth) (order Lepidoptera (lepidopteran)) that are named for their hovering, swift flight patterns. These moths have stout, bullet-shaped bodies with long, narrow forewings and shorter hindwings. Wingspans range from 5 to 20 cm (2 to 8 inches). Many species pollinate (pollination) flowers such as orchids (orchid) and petunias (petunia) while sucking nectar. The proboscis (feeding organ) of some species measures up to 32.5 cm (13 inches). Some hawk moths migrate.

 The common name for Acherontia atropos, death's head moth, derives from the fancied facsimile of a human skull on the upper surface of the body. Common in Europe and Africa, these moths have a short proboscis and often feed on honey from beehives. They produce loud chirping or squeaking sounds by forcing air out through the proboscis. In the larval (larva) stage they make distinct cracking noises.

      The species Xanthopan morganii praedicta, named in honour of its predicted existence by Charles Darwin (Darwin, Charles) and Alfred Russel Wallace (Wallace, Alfred Russel), exclusively pollinates the Madagascar orchid, Angraecum sesquipedale. The proboscis of this hawk moth is long enough to reach the nectar receptacle of the orchid, which is between 20 and 35 cm (8 and 14 inches) in length.

      The leaf-feeding larva generally has a smooth body with a characteristic dorsal caudal horn, hence the common name hornworm. Two economically destructive North American species, the tobacco, or southern, hornworm (Manduca sexta) and the tomato, or northern, hornworm (M. quinquemaculata), attack tomato, tobacco, and potato crops. These leaf-feeding pests are green and can be 10 cm (4 inches) long. Control includes the use of a natural enemy, the braconid wasp (braconid) (Apanteles congregatus), which parasitizes the larvae. Pupation (pupa) occurs in an earthen cell or loose cocoon at the soil surface.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Hawk moth — (m[o^]th ; 115). (Zo[ o]l.) Any moth of the family {Sphingid[ae]}, of which there are numerous genera and species. They are large, handsome moths with long narrow forewings capable of powerful flight and hovering over flowers to feed. They fly… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Hawk moth — Hawk Hawk (h[add]k), n. [OE. hauk (prob. fr. Icel.), havek, AS. hafoc, heafoc; akin to D. havik, OHG. habuh, G. habicht, Icel. haukr, Sw. h[ o]k, Dan. h[ o]g, prob. from the root of E. heave.] (Zo[ o]l.) One of numerous species and genera of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • hawk moth — hawk′ moth n. ent any of numerous moths of the family Sphingidae, noted for their swift flight and ability to hover while sipping nectar from flowers Also called sphingid,sphinx moth • Etymology: 1775–85 …   From formal English to slang

  • hawk moth — n. any of a family (Sphingidae) of moths with a thick, tapering body, slender wings, and a long feeding tube used for sucking the nectar of flowers; sphinx moth …   English World dictionary

  • hawk moth — noun any of various moths with long narrow forewings capable of powerful flight and hovering over flowers to feed • Syn: ↑hawkmoth, ↑sphingid, ↑sphinx moth, ↑hummingbird moth • Hypernyms: ↑moth • Hyponyms: ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • hawk moth — Sphinx Sphinx, n. [L., from Gr. sfi gx, usually derived from sfi ggein to bind tight or together, as if the Throttler.] 1. (a) In Egyptian art, an image of granite or porphyry, having a human head, or the head of a ram or of a hawk, upon the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • hawk moth — noun Any moth of the family Sphingidae. Syn: hornworm, sphinx moth …   Wiktionary

  • hawk-moth — n. Death s head moth …   New dictionary of synonyms

  • hawk moth — noun Date: 1785 any of a family (Sphingidae) of stout bodied moths with a long proboscis, long narrow more or less pointed forewings, and small hind wings called also sphinx …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • hawk-moth — …   Useful english dictionary

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