Macroglossum stellatarum Moro sphinx or Sphinx Hummingbird

Macroglossum stellatarum, by_Marcel_Morel

Moro sphinx Macroglossum stellatarum

Reigns Animalia
Phylum Arthropoda
Class Insecta
Order Lepidoptera
Family Sphingidae
Subfamily Macroglossinae
Tribe Macroglossini
Genus Macroglossum
Binomial name Macroglossum stellatarum (Linnaeus, 1758)
The Moro sphinx or Sphinx Hummingbird or Sphinx at the Lady's bedstraw (Macroglossum stellatarum), is an insect belonging to the order of Lepidoptera in the Sphingidae family, the Macroglossinae subfamily, the Macroglossini tribe, subtribe of the Macroglossina, and of the genus Macroglossum. It is the type for the genus.

History and name

Macroglossum stellatarum species was described by the Swedish naturalist Carolus Linnaeus in 1758, under the initial name of Sphinx stellatarum 1.
Sphinx stellatarum (Linnaeus, 1758) Protonyme
Sphinx flavida Retzius, 1783 2
Macroglossa nigra Cosmovici, 1892 3
Macroglossa subnubila Schultz, 1904
Macroglossa fasciata Rebel, 1910
Macroglossa convergens Constantini, 1916
Macroglossa approximata Lempke, 1959
Macroglossa clausa Lempke, 1959
Macroglossa candidum Eitschberger, 1971
Macroglossa minor Vilarubia, 1974 4.
Vernacular names
Moro sphinx Macroglosse of the Lady's bedstraw (or Gae) is named Humming-bird Hawk-moth in English, Karpfenschwanz or Taubenschwanzchen in German, and Cola de Paloma in Spanish.


It is a small beige Brown Sphingidae stocky body. The sphinx Moro has a very long proboscis to forage the flowers, often purple, blue or white, hover like hummingbirds. It generally butine nectar from flowers other insects can reach. He likes the sages, lavender.
The eggs are deposited singly on buds and flowers of the gaillets (Galium) or in their vicinity (May; July/August). Hatching occurs about a week after spawning. One can observe the caterpillars primarily in May and August. The Caterpillar is pale green striped longitudinally yellow, then Brown striped with yellow.
It is in a cocoon loose either on the ground or in Earth that pupation occurs. The pupal stage lasts about 1 month.

Its flight is a precise and uncommon speed. The sphinx Moro can fly at 50 km/h, 40 km/h on average, which places him among the fastest Butterfly 5.
Flight period
This is one of the few diurnal species of its family (with the fuciformis Sphinx or Sphinx Garcia, Hemaris fuciformis l. and the Sphinx tityus, Hemaris tityus L.6; these 2 species being less frequent in France). Adults usually fly in Europe from April to August but they can be present also in September (2 annual generations).

Host plants
The host plants of this insect are generally (Galium) gaillets, but the butterfly can lay also on other plants of this family of Rubiaceae, as well as of Valerianaceae and Caryophyllaceae.

Ecology and distribution
Its natural habitat is located in the northern hemisphere between the Spain and the Japan. This migratory insect can occur almost anywhere in the northern hemisphere in summer, but it is only in warmer climates (Spain, Portugal, Italy, Turkey, North Africa). Indeed, rarely survives the winter in more northern latitudes (as North of the Alps in Europe, or North of the Caucasus in Russia, etc.). Perhaps because of global warming, young precursor specimens appear increasingly earlier, even Northern region parisienne (mid-March) then that previously we are witnessing the later arrival of only adult specimens so migratory. This insect is considered lucky in some parts of the South of the France.
It occurs during the warm season in all the departments of France metropolitaine7.
It is a migratory Butterfly over long distances.



Deutschland, Juli/August 2005 (Foto: Jochen Büchler), det. Fabian Sravanthi


periodes d observations de Macroglossum_stellatarum

Macroglossum stellatarum revers

Deutschland, Baden-Württemberg, Bötzingen am Kaiserstuhl, Garten, 23. Juni 2007 (Foto: Gabi Krumm), det. Gabi Krumm

Macroglossum stellatarum dessus

Deutschland, Baden-Württemberg, Bötzingen am Kaiserstuhl, Garten, 23. Juni 2007 (Foto: Gabi Krumm), det. Gabi Krumm

Macroglossum stellatarum chenille_1_er_stade

Legend: Hummingbird Hawk-Moth (Macroglossum stellatarum), Caterpillar 1st stage, Sandouville (76), France.

Macroglossum stellatarum chenille_2_eme_stade

Legend: Hummingbird Hawk-Moth (Macroglossum stellatarum), Caterpillar 2nd stage, Sandouville (76), France.

Macroglossum stellatarum chenille_terme

Caterpillar term, Faye pass (Hautes-Alpes), 900 m, June 21, 2006. Photo Philippe Mendoza9g.
Source: & id = 38010 #.

Macroglossum stellatarum chrysalide

Deutschland, Baden-Württemberg, nördlicher Kraichgau, Bammental, 110 msm, Siedlungsgebiet, Hausgarten, 16. September 2006 (manipulierte Freilandfotos: Jutta Bastian), det. Jutta Bastian

Macroglossum stellatarum egg

Deutschland, Baden-Württemberg, Kraichgau, Bammental, Hausgarten, 27. Juli 2006, 19 Uhr, Eiablage (einzelne Eier) auf die Unterseite der obersten Blättchen von Galium spec. an einzeln stehende, junge, kümmerliche Pflanzen (Foto: Jutta Bastian), det. Jutta Bastian

Appendices and bibliography

Referring sites & id = 38010 #.

Photos (sometimes you must copy the complete link)

Notes and references
1↑ Linnaeus, 1758; Syst. NAT. (Edn 10) 1: 493
2↑ Retzius, 1783; Gen. Spec. Ins: 33
3↑ Cosmovici, 1892; Naturalista 14: 280
4↑ funet [archive]
5↑ encyclopedia Larousse of Nature ISBN 2-03-152111-X
6↑ Michael Chinery, insects of France and Western Europe, Paris 2005, Flammarion, ISBN 2-0820-1375-8, p. 146-147
7↑ INPN [archive]

A site containing photos of Moro sphinx in flight
Moths and Butterflies of Europe and North Africa
Reference Fauna Europaea: Macroglossum stellatarum (en)
Butterfly conservation
The tawny owl n ° 86
D.J. Carter and B. Hargreaves, Guide to caterpillars of Europe, Paris, 2001, Delachaux & Niestlé, 311 p. ISBN 978-2-603-00639-9, DL February 2005.