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Hawk moth Any moth of the family Sphingidae, of which there are numerous genera and species. They are large, handsome moths, which fly mostly at twilight and hover about flowers like a humming bird, sucking the honey by means of a long, slender proboscis. The larvae are large, hairless caterpillars ornamented with green and other bright colors, and often with a caudal spine. See Sphinx, also Tobacco worm, and Tomato worm.