Midnight Isle

Hummingbird Hawk Moth

The Hummingbird Hawk Moth (Macroglossum stellatarum), named due to the way it hovers like a hummingbird whilst feeding, and often mistaken for one. (Though the moths are smaller, and wild hummingbirds are not found outside the Americas.)

A complicated subject to shoot: avoiding the wings being too sharp, too blurred, or obscuring the face requires both an appropriate shutter speed and the luck of timing the release to a suitable point in the flapping of the wings.

Combined with the need to manouever around obstacles in an effort to avoid distracting backgrounds, and continually needing to re-focus as the moth erratically darts around (with no obvious method to how it chooses where next to suck nectar from), it wasn't the easiest Lepidoptera to photograph.

These four images were selected from a total of fifteen shots, with shutter speeds between 1/400 and 1/1250.

Hummingbird Hawk Moth From Below Hummingbird Hawk Moth Hovering Hummingbird Hawk Moth From Side Hummingbird Hawk Moth and Buddleia