Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Hummingbird Hawk-Moth

As many of you will know Bryony is most definitely not a moth person yet I have her to thank for the subject of this post. We were heading out in the car yesterday when she spotted something larger hovering at the bottom of the drive. Her initial thought was a large insect and it wasn't until I took a closer look that I realised it was a Hummingbird Hawk-Moth (Macroglossum stellatarum).

I've never actually seen one before, although I think one put in a brief appearance at my sister-in-laws wedding which I saw as a shape flying away. Fortunately they are kind of hard to confuse with anything else.

After a few photos I thought I'd try a video to show you just why it's called a hummingbird hawk-moth. Unfortunately the camera was playing up (it's working fine now so I'm assuming operator error) and it kept stopping after recording just a second or so; the longest useful clip contained just 14 frames shot at 25 frames per second!

Rather than showing the raw video I've cropped and processed it (a complex procedue that itself can and will fill a technical blog post at some point) to produce an animated GIF that loops around to give you an idea of how it behaves.

I saw it again, briefly, this morning in the back garden but by the time I grabbed the camera it had gone. Hopefully it will be back and I'll get some better photos and video.