If asked to describe a moth's flight, I doubt many of us would use an adjective like "graceful." Neurotic? Yes. Flap-happy? Absolutely. But years of watching moths careen headlong into patio lights and bug lamps have left most of us with a decidedly unremarkable impression of these bugs' flying abilities.

But after watching these slow-motion videos of Manduca sexta — a large moth with flying skills commonly compared to those of hummingbirds — it's hard to imagine how anyone could describe this moth's aerial abilities as anything short of elegant (even, as the video demonstrates, when it's being pelted with miniature clay projectiles).

[Science Friday via Fuck Yeah Fluid Dynamics]