Name: Privet Hawkmoth
Scientific name: Sphinx ligustri
Nature Stars: 70
About: A very large hawkmoth with a wingspan of about 10cm. Adults fly for a short period in June and July. The caterpillars are large and lime green, with purple and white streaks and a pale yellow spot on each segment and a big blackish hook at the tail end. The caterpillars feed on privet, ash and lilac leaves. Commonly found in parks and gardens, as well as woodland.
How to identify: The hawkmoths are recognisable by their large, torpedo-shaped bodies and long, narrow wings held back like a jet plane. This is one of the largest, with beautiful dark brown and cream wings and a pink and black banded body.
Where: Widespread, although less common in the North.
Fantastic fact: Nine species of hawkmoth breed in Britain, with another eight species visiting as migrants. They are among the strongest fliers of any moths.
Photograph credit: Margaret Holland