The Sphingidae or sphinxes are a family of moths that includes about 1,450 species. *
Moths belonging to this family usually have crepuscular or nocturnal habits, but some species common in Africa, like Cephonodes hylas virescens, Macroglossum hirundo and Macroglossum trochilus, are diurnal. ***
Almost cosmopolitan, they are medium to large in size, with long and pointed front wings.
The spiritromba is atrophic or short in some species, very long in others (up to 25 cm).
Their fast and powerful flight makes it possible for some species to travel long distances and makes them stand out among the moths. Sometimes it is quite similar to that of hummingbirds on the American continent, to be, reliably mistaken for them. **
The larvae, characteristic for a horn or wart process on the eighth abdominal segment, are hairless, sometimes brightly colored.
In Europe there are about 20 species of the most recognizable we remember the Acherontia atropos better known as the African death's-head hawkmoth.
* Van Nieukerken; et al. (2011). "Order Lepidoptera Linnaeus, 1758. In: Zhang, Z.-Q. (Ed.) Animal biodiversity: An outline of higher-level classification and survey of taxonomic richness" - https://mapress.com/zootaxa/2011/f/zt03148p221.pdf
** Scoble, Malcolm J. (1995): The Lepidoptera: Form, Function and Diversity (2nd edition). Oxford University Press & Natural History Museum London. ISBN 0-19-854952-0
*** Messenger, Charlie (1997). "The Sphinx Moths (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae) of Nebraska". Transactions of the Nebraska Academy of Sciences (24) - https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://en.wikipedia.org/&httpsredir=1&article=1071&context=tnas