Photo: It's a bird. It's a plane. It's a hawk moth!

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Say hello to a member of one of the largest – and most interesting – moth families in the world.

Behold the incredible hawk moth! While some may think of moths as little more than fluttering dusty things that flit around the porch light, the world of moths is in fact a fascinating one filled incredible creatures. Case in point, the hawk moth or Sphingid family – a member of which is shown here visiting a bee balm flower.

These moths include some of the largest in the world. I mean look at this one, it looks like a bird! They are fast flyers and incredibly agile in the air – many can hover, many can dart, and some can even fly backwards. And this: They have the longest tongues of any moth or butterfly ... some up to 14 inches long, all the better to sip nectar from flowers with especially long tubes.

Thank you to Ted Roger Karson for this fabulous shot.

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