Location: Captain’s Mountain via Millmerran, Queensland, Australia
January 22, 2011 6:51 pm
We found this dead moth outside our house recently. We have never seen a moth with transparent wings. What is it? Is it usually found in our area? What does its caterpillar look like?
Signature: Mackenzie Family

Bee Hawkmoth

Dear Mackenzie Family,
You found a Bee Hawkmoth,
Cephonodes kingii, a diurnal species that may be mistaken for a bee or hummingbird as it visits flowers to feed on nectar.  The Brisbane Insect website has nice images of living specimens.

THANK YOU so much for getting back to us so quickly.  We are guessing that the moth may have ended up on this side of the Great Dividing Range because of the cyclonic winds that have been blowing off storms towards Brisbane this month.  We are about 250 km from Brisbane at the far edge of the Darling Downs.  We seem to have more species of bugs this summer than ever before but there don’t seem to be any more of these bee hawk moths around.
We really appreciate you replying to us.
From Beverley Mackenzie

Hi Beverley,
Insects posted to the Brisbane Insect website often have a far greater range extending to other parts of Australia as well the islands of the South Pacific and occasionally even Asia.  According to Oz Insects, Queensland is part of the range of the Bee Hawkmoth, though winds do buffet insects about and weather patterns might be responsible for range expansions.

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Location: Australia

6 Responses to Bee Hawkmoth from Australia

  1. Louise Escott says:

    I saw one of these in Glen Innes, NSW, this afternoon. I’d never seen one before.

  2. Robyn says:

    Im in the Upper Hunter Valley & we have these here quite often. Always wondered what they were & now I know. Thankyou.

  3. Marjolijn Joosten says:

    WE have one much like it: the Kolibributterfly.Here they come from France and will wander even to the south of Norway. They really fly like a Kolibri,they can even hover.I had them in my garden several times.
    I live in the Netherlands.

  4. James Gosnell says:

    I found a bunch these flying in our garden yesterday in Norwell Massachusetts, a town 25 miles south of Boston. How did it get here and are there any concerns? Is it a bee or a type of moth? Very beautiful!

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