|Hummingbird Hawk-Moth at Methoni, Messenia, Greece|
David and I have occasionally seen the odd Hummingbird Hawk-Moth in the UK, but this summer has been a bumper year for us. The first examples we saw were flitting and fluttering around the castle walls at Dinefwr near Llandeilo in Wales. They were well camouflaged against the stone - and they proved far too fast to catch on camera. Their name in Latin, Macroglossum stellatarum (Linnaeus, 1758), presumably means large tongue (or proboscis, used for extracting nectar), and I imagine the second word must relate to stars.
We were particularly delighted to find a 'flock' of these feathery creatures, making their way along the row of geraniums outside our apartment in the Pylos area of Messenia in the western Peloponnese.
We made a couple of visits to Methoni with its vast castle, where more of these moths were attracted to the pink pea-like flower you can see in the top photograph.
The picture below shows the tower promontory, or Bourtzi, comprising a tiny fortified island at the seaward end of the castro with its Venetian walls. This part of Greece is steeped in legend: Homer assigned the epithet, 'rich in vines', to Methoni. Much later on, Cervantes is said (by some) to have been a prisoner here: his experiences are recorded in Don Quixote.
|Methoni, Messenia, Greece|
|Above and Below: Hummingbird Hawk-Moth in Yialova, Messenia, Greece|