The gallium sphinx moth is also known as the bedstraw hawk moth. Many gardeners are familiar with the larval stage of the tomato hornworm, also a member of the hawk moth/sphinx moth/hornworm (most sphinx moth caterpillars have a “horn” on the end of their body) family. The moths in this family are often fairly large, and are known for their rapid, sustained flying ability. Some species of hawk moths can fly as fast as 30 miles per hour. Some, including the gallium sphinx moth, are able to hover in midair while they feed on nectar from flowers (milkweed flowers in this photograph). This hovering ability is thought to have evolved only three times in nectar feeders – in hummingbirds, certain bats and hawk moths.
Find more of my photographs and information similar to that which I post in this blog in my book Naturally Curious, which is being published this fall.
GALLIUM SPHINX MOTH