The sphingidés ( Sphingidae ) are one of Lépidoptères Hétérocères (pertaining to Sphingoidea). Sphingidés are of rather big size, have the thick body and for the majority of the narrow wings. Certain S have broader and festooned wings. The Sphinges are designed for flights at high speed and certain species can reach 55 kilometers at the hours. They traverse sometimes considerable distances during their life of an average from ten to twenty-five days. So almost all the Sphinges are night, some species however are diurnal, such them (Moro sphinx, Amphion nessus, Proserpinus flavofasciata and the whole of the kind Hemaris).
Spnigidae often carry out hoverings (vibrated flight), thanks to the spcialized beats and very rapids of their wings. Using their horn, souvant very long (case of the Malagasy sphinx S drawing the nectar of the Orchis S Angraecum sesquipedalian ), they can thus collect the nectar of the flowers, even in the deepest corollas like does it the hummingbird, from where them English name Hummingbird moths. But some do not have any and the individuals do not nourish themselves during their adult phase. Many species are migrating like the Sphinx death's-head.
The caterpillar S of the majority of the species have laterally oblique lines highly coloured. Recluses, they live on a large variety of leafy trees or low plants. Frightened by an enemy, they retract their thoracic segments, raise the front of their body and side and other balance it abruptly. Conspicuous colors thus, it have also a horn bent on the eighth abdominal ring (this horn is exceptionally non-existent at the Sphinx of Abbott).
Some species chrysalident in the ground, sometimes up to 12 cm of depth, others, under the stones or the vegetable remains or weave a loose cocoon in the dead sheets. They seem that all the species of Sphingidae to the Quebec winter at the stage of Chrysalide.
- Sphinginae Latreille.
- Macroglossinae Harris, 1839.
Some European species
- Acherontia atropos - Sphinx death's-head
- Agrius convolvuli - Sphinx of the bindweed
- Daphnis nerii - Sphinx of the rose laurel
- Deilephila elpenor - Large sphinx of the vine
- Deilephila porcellus - Small sphinx of the vine
- Hemaris fuciformis - Sphinx gauze
- Hemaris tityus - Sphinx gauze
- Hippotion celerio - phoenix
- Hyles euphorbiae - Sphinx of the euphorbium
- Hyles galli - Sphinx of the garance or Sphinx of the gaillet
- Hyles hippophaes - Sphinx of the argousier
- Hyles lineata livornica - Sphinx livournien
- Hyles nicaea - Sphinx nicéa
- Hyles vespertilio - Sphinx bat
- Hyloicus pinastri - Sphinx of the pine
- Laothoe populi - Sphinx of the poplar
- Macroglossum stellatarum - Moro sphinx
- Marumba quercus - Sphinx of the oak
- Mimas tiliae - Sphinx of the lime
- Proserpinus proserpina - Sphinx épilobe
- Smerinthus ocellata - Sphinx hawkmoth
- Sphinx ligustri - Sphinx of the privet
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