Silver-striped hawk moth
On a cold winter morning, this beautiful silver-striped hawk moth was a sight to behold. I stayed with it for 25 minutes watching it alternate between being at rest, then vibrating its wings - and what was really great to see was the increased speed by which it did that, as the minutes passed and it gradually became warmer. This pre-flight thermoregulation involves the muscles being contracted to create only a minimal amount of wing movement, which produces as much heat as possible to elevate thoracic temperatures to flight-levels. Eventually, it flew off.
Larvae of Hippotion celerio enjoy grapevine (Vitis sp.) hence the other common name of vine moth. I read that other host plants include Epilobium (willowherb), Fuchsia, Parthenocissus (Virginia creeper) and other related vines such as Cissus.
Seen here on native prostrate Hibbertia sp.
Wingspan 6 cm
''Hippotion celerio'', the vine hawk-moth or silver-striped hawk-moth, is a moth of the family Sphingidae.