DR. JOHN BRACKENBURY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR. JOHN BRACKENBURY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Spurge hawkmoth caterpillar. View of a spurge hawkmoth (Hyles euphorbiae) caterpillar feeding on a yellow flower. Hawkmoths (and hawkmoth caterpillars) have a varied diet and attack many herbaceous plants and trees. The spurge hawkmoth is named as such because it often attacks spurge plants. The hawkmoth is one of the most agile and powerful lepidopteran fliers, capable of speeds up to 60kmph. It can also hover in the air, sucking nectar from a flower with its long proboscis. It is for this reason that many long, tubular flowers depend on hawkmoths for pollination, since no other insect can reach the deep base of the blossom.
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