Macroglossum stellatarum

Centranthus ruber

Last update: 16 August 2022


LOCATION: Krimpen aan den IJssel, garden


Around 21:00 I noticed an Eumenes male on Goldenrod. However as soon as the flash flashed he jolted only to return some time later. During the wait in this loop a Macroglossum stellatarum [1] moth appeared that against expectations ignored most of the flowers and seemed most interested in the foliage. The calmer way of flying was in clear contrast with the normal lightning fast jolting from flower to flower.
This behaviour became even more determined; she ignored even the Centranthus ruber flowers, in our garden the go-to nectar source for this moth species. Flying next to me low above ground the moth approached a patch of Centranthus plants ornamented with a few flowers that remained as they all had finished blooming and it became clear she was in it for the greens not the reds. At one moment she hung in front of a young petal, it almost seemed like she had landed, which raised suspicion she might have laid an egg.

And for sure… a large globular almost structureless satin green egg decorated the plant at inspection.

Macroglossum stellatarum, egg on Centranthus ruber

Two days later another specimen appeared whose flight indicated she was looking for a spot to lay an egg. This one did drink from the Centranthus ruber before depositing an egg on one of the flowers.

Macroglossum stellatarum, egg on Centranthus ruber


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