With a wingspan of 150-200 mm this is the largest European moth. I was fortunate to see one a few weeks ago in Arles in southern France, it was attracted to a ground light in the gardens of the hotel where I was staying. At first sight I didn’t believe my eyes, I thought it might be a child’s toy. Then it flew. Thankfully it didn’t fly far. The moth was then very well behaved and jumped onto someone’s hand to give me a picture with a good sense of scale.
The Giant Peacock (Saturnia pyri) can be seen throughout Southern Europe, the Balkans and Turkey. The moths fly from March to June and lay eggs on branches or leaves. The caterpillars live on deciduous trees and shrubs.