Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Hawk moths


On February 23, 2011,  Alderney Post issued  the stamp set comprised of one miniature sheet and six single postage stamp featured Hawk moths or Sphingidae. 17 species of hawks-moth occur in the British Isles and of these a remarkable 14 have been found in Alderney.

Hawk moths are found worldwide. Many of them are spectacular insects and the British ones include the largest moths seen in these islands. They are streamlined and fast flying with most kinds appearing at dusks, hovering over flowers.

Popularly known as hawk moths because of their shape, power and maneuverability, they belong to the family Sphingidae, named after the mysterious Sphinx from the Greek mythology.
Sphingidae is a family of moths (Lepidoptera) that includes about 1,450 species.It is best represented in the tropics but there are species in every region. They are moderate to large in size and are distinguished among moths for their rapid, sustained flying ability. The narrow wings and streamlined abdomen are adaptations for rapid flight.
Sphingidae have a wingspan of 35-150 mm.Most species are multivoltine, capable of producing several generations a year if weather conditions permit.

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