Monday, 18 January 2010
Well yes, Macroglossum stellatarum is hairy with a dark, white-spotted abdomen, mousy-grey fore-wings and golden-orange hind-wings. It can be easily mistaken for a hummingbird as it hovers, probing flowers for nectar with its long proboscis. In fact, it is smaller than any hummingbird.
They fly during the day and can be seen throughout lowland Britain in the summer. Hummingbird hawk moths cannot survive the British winter, so migrate to and from southern Europe in autumn and spring.
After they emerge from caterpillars, they are about 50 mm long, and have a green or reddish-brown body with white dots, white, dark and yellow horizontal stripes and a blue, yellow-tipped horn.
So, how or why did this curious creature come about ? Scientists believe it is something called convergent evolution. This is when two completely different species may evolve very similar physiologies because they inhabit a near identical ecological niche.
So I wonder if we, humans are a result of convergent evolution ?