Tuesday 21 May
Narrow-bordered bee hawk-moth (Hemaris tityus)
What’s the World’s Favourite Species?Find out here.
Narrow-bordered bee hawk-moth fact file
- Find out more
- Print factsheet
Narrow-bordered bee hawk-moth description
Adults of the Narrow-bordered Bee Hawk-moth are extremely similar in appearance to bumblebees (3), and gain a level of protection from this mimicry. The wings are transparent with a thin brown border, and the body is furry and banded. The caterpillars may reach up to 3.5 cm in length, and have pale green bodies with purple or brownish-red blotches and a reddish horn towards the rear (4).
- Wingspan: 41-46 mm (1)
Narrow-bordered bee hawk-moth biology
The Narrow-bordered Bee Hawk-moth has a single generation each year (it is 'univoltine'). Adults are active in the day between mid-May and mid-June, and can be seen visiting the flowers of various species in sunshine (1). Eggs are laid singly underneath leaves of the foodplant, and hatch 1-2 weeks later. Caterpillars feed between July and August but are hard to find (5), and will fall to the ground when disturbed. The pupa overwinters in a cocoon spun below the surface of the soil (4).Top
Narrow-bordered bee hawk-moth range
Once widespread but local throughout the UK, the Narrow-bordered Bee Hawk-moth underwent a severe decline from about 1950. It became extinct at many former sites, especially in the east of its range, surviving mainly in south-west England, west Wales, Northern Ireland and the west coast of Scotland. Welcome signs of a recovery have been noticed in the past decade, and the moth was re-found in East Anglia in 1999 (5). The species has a local distribution in the western Palaearctic, and has been recorded from most European countries (2).Top
Narrow-bordered bee hawk-moth habitat
Inhabits many types of unimproved grasslands. It also occurs on acid bogs, peat cuttings and dry heathland sites (2). In all cases, it requires a source of the foodplant of the caterpillars, devil's bit scabious (2), growing in a large area of suitable habitat (5).Top
Narrow-bordered bee hawk-moth status
Classified in Great Britain as Nationally Scarce (2).Top
Narrow-bordered bee hawk-moth threats
The main factors affecting this species include agricultural improvement and unsuitable management of its grassland and heathland habitats (2), especially in southern and eastern England. Much suitable habitat remains in Scotland (5).Top
Narrow-bordered bee hawk-moth conservation
The Narrow-bordered Bee Hawk-moth has been targeted as a priority species under the UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UK BAP). The plan aims to maintain the current populations and to restore the species to 10 sites in the former range before 2010 (2). Many of the sites where this moth occurs are Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) or nature reserves; a number of sites have been forwarded as candidate SACs (Special areas of Conservation) (2).Top
Find out more
Further reading on moths:
Skinner, B. (1998) Colour Identification Guide to Moths of the British Isles. Viking Press, London.
Leverton, R. (2001) Enjoying Moths. Poyser, London.
Information authenticated by Roy Leverton.Top
- Palaearctic region
- The region that includes Europe, the part of Asia to the north of the Himalyan-Tibetan barrier, North Africa and most of Arabia.
- Stage in an insect's development when huge changes occur, which reorganise the larval form into the adult form. In butterflies the pupa is also called a chrysalis.
- (also known as 'single-brooded'). Insect life cycle that takes 12 months to be complete, and involves a single generation. The egg, larva, pupa or adult over winters as a dormant stage.
- Skinner, B. (1984) Colour Identification Guide to Moths of the British Isles. Viking Press, London.
- UK BAP (December 2001): http://www.ukbap.org.uk
- UK Moths (December 2001): http://www.ukmoths.force9.co.uk
- Carter, D. J. and Hargreaves, B. (1986) A Field Guide to caterpillars of butterflies and moths in Britain and Europe. Collins, London.
- Leverton, R. (2002) Pers. comm.
MyARKive offers the scrapbook feature to signed-up members, allowing you to organize your favourite ARKive images and videos and share them with friends.
Terms and Conditions of Use of Materials
Copyright in this website and materials contained on this website (Material) belongs to Wildscreen or its licensors.
Visitors to this website (End Users) are entitled to:
- view the contents of, and Material on, the website;
- download and retain copies of the Material on their personal systems in digital form in low resolution for their own personal use;
- teachers, lecturers and students may incorporate the Material in their educational material (including, but not limited to, their lesson plans, presentations, worksheets and projects) in hard copy and digital format for use within a registered educational establishment, provided that the integrity of the Material is maintained and that copyright ownership and authorship is appropriately acknowledged by the End User.
End Users shall not copy or otherwise extract, alter or manipulate Material other than as permitted in these Terms and Conditions of Use of Materials.
Additional use of flagged material
Green flagged material
Certain Material on this website (Licence 4 Material) displays a green flag next to the Material and is available for not-for-profit conservation or educational use. This material may be used by End Users, who are individuals or organisations that are in our opinion not-for-profit, for their not-for-profit conservation or not-for-profit educational purposes. Low resolution, watermarked images may be copied from this website by such End Users for such purposes. If you require high resolution or non-watermarked versions of the Material, please contact Wildscreen with details of your proposed use.
Creative commons material
Certain Material on this website has been licensed to Wildscreen under a Creative Commons Licence. These images are clearly marked with the Creative Commons buttons and may be used by End Users only in the way allowed by the specific Creative Commons Licence under which they have been submitted. Please see http://creativecommons.org for details.
Any other use
Please contact the copyright owners directly (copyright and contact details are shown for each media item) to negotiate terms and conditions for any use of Material other than those expressly permitted above. Please note that many of the contributors to ARKive are commercial operators and may request a fee for such use.
Save as permitted above, no person or organisation is permitted to incorporate any copyright material from this website into any other work or publication in any format (this includes but is not limited to: websites, Apps, CDs, DVDs, intranets, extranets, signage, digital communications or on printed materials for external or other distribution). Use of the Material for promotional, administrative or for-profit purposes is not permitted.