Social Distancing Week 13. Eyed Hawk-moth.
Paul writes: I found this dramatic looking creature last week in my garden moth trap. It’s the first Eyed Hawk-moth I’ve seen, so I was really excited. I was immediately impressed by the size, the wing length is around 40mm. When resting normally it’s fairly drab looking and only the size makes it noticeable. However when disturbed it opens out its wings and you get a fantastic pair of blue eyes on a pink background staring out at you. This must be a defence mechanism in the wild to startle potential predators and give the moth a chance to escape. It certainly gave me a shock.
They are common and widespread throughout lowland England and Wales, as far north as Cumbria. They are drawn to light and frequently found in gardens. The larval food plants are mainly willows, sallows and apples. It’s quite a nice thought that if you leave a garden light on you may find one of these beauties around.