Hummingbird hawk moth uses sight to aim its spiraling nose at nectar

The function is described as follows by the researchers in their statement: "The moth uses its proboscis to suck nectar by inserting it through a tiny opening into the floral nectaries, seemingly effortlessly and in a matter of seconds."

The results show that these moths regulate their proboscis by the use of their sense of sight and visual feedback. This is a sophisticated kind of appendage control that was previously only known to occur in animals with larger brains.

The University of Konstanz biologist Anna Stöckl compared it to attempting to open a drink can while holding a two-meter-long straw in her mouth.

Hummingbird hawk moths approaching artificial flowers were seen on high-speed cameras as part of intricate behavioral investigations carried out by the researchers.  

In the same way that humans utilize visual feedback to manage precise hand movements, moths use their sense of sight to control the movement of their proboscis, as observed by the camera.  

According to the statement, the moths' brains, which have fewer than a million nerve cells, are simpler than those of humans, making them useful models for studies on the visual control of appendages and possibly having applications in robotics.  

According to the statement, hummingbird hawk moths use the patterns on the blossoms that are visible to them to locate the sugary liquid more quickly using their proboscis.