Name: Elephant Hawkmoth
Scientific name: Deilephila elpenor
Nature Stars: 70
About: A medium-sized hawkmoth with a wingspan of about 5cm. Adults fly from May to August The caterpillars are very characteristic, greyish green with black and brown mottling and with two enormous black eye spots towards the front: when disturbed, it swells up to show these spots, to scare off predators. The caterpillars feed on willowherbs. Commonly found in parks and gardens, as well as woodland edges, rough grassland, sand dunes, anywhere where willowherbs grow!
How to identify: A beautiful insect, mainly golden olive with pink markings on the wings and body. The similar Small Elephant Hawkmoth is smaller, with yellow instead of golden olive and less common, found in short grassland.
Fantastic fact: Named after the caterpillar, which looks a little like an elephant's trunk
Photograph credit: Margaret Holland