Hummingbird Hawk Moth


Photo: Thomas Bresson/Flickr

You'd be forgiven if you thought the picture above is of a hummingbird. It's actually a moth aptly named the Hummingbird Hawk Moth (Macroglossum stellatarum).

Ark in Space has more on this marvelous species:

With no legs or claws – and certainly no beak what you have here is a moth. No ordinary moth either – just take a look at that tongue. In truth, it isn’t actually a tongue. You may well ask, then, if it isn’t a tongue, what on earth is it?

There aren’t many – if any – tongues that can do that and it has a different function. What that amazing body part is called is a proboscis. That is the name given to an extended appendage from the head of an animal. This elongated organ is for sucking (more about that later) and it is also known as a haustellum. It is made up of two tubes that are held together by hooks. Strangely (and even scarily) enough these tubes can be separated – unhooked – when the moth needs to clean it.

Link

Previously on Neatorama: World's Weirdest Moths


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