Ten days ago I posted a photo of a hawk moth caterpillar feeding on our pentas plant, and today I have photos of an adult moth visiting pentas flowers for nectar.
I happened to spot the moth just on dusk and I have to say it was a much more challenging subject than the caterpillar, firstly because it moved so fast – hovering to feed, darting away and returning to another flower, etc, and never staying in one spot for more than a few seconds. Secondly, there wasn’t much light so I had to use the flash(which is why the background is so dark) and still had to use a fairly low shutter speed which left many of my shots with motion blur. The photos here are two of the best of about twenty I took. (Then again, poor shots cost nothing but time with digital photography. Would I have taken up insect photography in the age of film? Absolutely not!)
The moth is a species I have seen here before, Macroglossum micacea, always in the early evening. I don’t know what the caterpillar looks like and it seems that my favourite lepidoptera site doesn’t know either – it doesn’t show or describe the caterpillar on its page about the species – and even a Google image search produced no results.