Lepidoptera means ‘scaly wings’ and refers to the dust-like scales covering the wings and bodies of butterflies and moths.
There is no easy way to tell moths and butterflies apart, except that many (but not all) butterflies have clubbed antennae while most moths have feather-like antennae. Moths rest their wings lying flat on their backs while most butterflies rest their wings raised over their back.
The Hummingbird Hawk Moth is a common migrant from southern Europe and North Africa and is easily mistaken for a tiny hummingbird. In Malta and Italy it is seen as a bringer of good fortune. We’ve seen one on the allotment on the fig tree and until we were informed otherwise (eg there are NO hummingbirds in the UK) we thought we’d seen a hummingbird!