Posted by: Ross Gardner | July 5, 2015

Everybody needs good neighbours

More moths, but not without very good reason!

Having observed me on numerous occasions creeping around in the garden with torch in hand and inspecting likely nectar sources for moths, or  indeed having more recently seen the glow of the moth-trap of an evening, our good neighbours were quick to alert me to the presence of a couple of decidedly spectacular moths.  I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect, but was needless to say thrilled at the sight of two Privet Hawk-moths hunkered down for the day on the garden parasol.

This is a beast of a moth, not far short of twice the size of the Elephant Hawks posted previously.  A large specimen could have a wingspan in excess of 10 cm!  They are a cryptically marked species when resting up with wings closed, but might open them to reveal the pink-flushed stripes of the underwings.  They are a common (not entirely restricted to Privet as a foodplant), as well as impressive insect, but these were the first I had seen for some years, certainly in resting position.  My last view of this giant was at a campsite in Kent when one buzzed over the shoulder, in a blur of pink and grey and with a sound akin to an old World War II bomber passing overhead.

I might, at some stage, actually put up a post on a subject of something other than nocturnal Lepidoptera, but with this beastie lurking next door it just had to be moths again.

Privet Hawk-moth (Sphinx ligustri).  Copyright 2015 Ross Gardner

Privet Hawk-moth (Sphinx ligustri). Copyright 2015 Ross Gardner

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