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Sphingidae (hawk moths, sphinx moths; subclass Pterygota, order Lepidoptera) Family of medium-sized to very large moths that are usually fast fliers. The fore wings are elongate, narrow, and obliquely angled terminally. The proboscis is often very long and is used to suck nectar. Some species have tympanal organs (‘ears’) on the palps. The larvae bear a horn at the rear. There are about 8000 species of Sphingidae, several of which have an intercontinental distribution, although the family is mainly tropical.

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