Saturday, 14 January 2017

Encounters with Hawkmoths

Hawkmoths are members of the Sphingidae family and they are amongst our most impressive moths, being large and fast flying. They are regularly attracted to light and I have recorded most of our resident species in my wealden garden over the years as well as two regular migrant species. Most Hawkmoth larvae are easily recognised by their large size and tail horns.
All photographs have been taken in my garden unless otherwise stated.

Convolvulus Hawkmoth (Agrius convolvuli) (female)
This is a scarce migrant from the European mainland but can be quite numerous in good migration years.
Privet Hawkmoth (Sphinx ligustri)

Privet Hawkmoth (S.ligustri) (larva on ash)
This specimen was found on the South Downs in East Sussex.

Pine Hawkmoth (Hyloicus pinastri)

Lime Hawkmoth (Mimas tiliae)

Lime Hawkmoth (M.tiliae) (larva found wandering)

Eyed Hawkmoth (Smerinthus ocellata)

Eyed Hawkmoth (S.ocellata) (larva found wandering)

Poplar Hawkmoth (Laothoe populi)

Poplar Hawkmoth (L.populi) (larva on sallow)
This specimen was found on the South Downs in East Sussex.

Hummingbird Hawkmoth (Macroglossum stellatarum)
This is a day-flying migrant from the European mainland and can be common in good migration years.

Hummingbird Hawkmoth (M.stellatarum)
In flight.
Elephant Hawkmoth (Deilephila elpenor)

Elephant Hawkmoth (D.elpenor) (larva on greater willowherb)
This specimen was found near Arlington in East Sussex but I occasionally find them in my garden.

Small Elephant Hawkmoth (Deilephila porcellus)
In Sussex, this species is predominantly found in downland habitats. I have recorded it only once in my garden. These two specimens were attracted to light in a Seaford garden.

Small Elephant Hawkmoth (D.porcellus)

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