Elephant Hawk Moth in Rixton Clay Pits

September 8, 2013

in Gardening For Wildlife, Insects

Big eyes and snake like caterpillar!

After attending the Warrington Nature  Conservation Forum meeting at Rixton Clay pits, a few of us went for a walk around. Besides numerous dragonflies, great crested newts, a few bees, butterflies and Hebridean sheep! I noticed the elephant hawk (Dellephila elpenor) moth caterpillar on a stem of its food plant, rosebay willow herb. Now is a good time to find these beautiful caterpillars amongst larger patches of its food plant.

Elephant hawk moth caterpillar on rosebay willow herb, Rixton Clay Pits

I have seen several of these over the years, all found on rosebay willow herb at this time of the year.

Elephant hawk moth caterpillar Rixton Clay Pits

Although large, this is the smallest specimen I have found.

Elephant hawk moth looking like an elephant!

The large eyes,’ears’ and ‘trunk’ for its abdomen look very elephant like!

Elephant hawk moth in best costume!

Read more fascinating details with photographs here

Thanks to Paul Hazelhurst for showing us around and Ste Dodd for brilliant photographs both making it an interesting and very enjoyable late summer afternoon stroll!

Thanks also for the lovely moth photographs from Roy and Marie with their fantastic UK wildlife photographs

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Ste Dodd September 8, 2013 at 11:49 am

I had a fantastic day,we will have to do it again sometime

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nurturingnature September 8, 2013 at 1:33 pm

I did too, so yes we will!! Cheers Set, George

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Elaine Hutchings September 10, 2013 at 9:51 am

Hello George

I found a huge one on a fuchsia bush, which they also like to munch. It gave me quite a shock! The adult moths are beautiful:

http://www.wildlifetrusts.org/species/elephant-hawk-moth

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nurturingnature September 10, 2013 at 11:22 am

Hi Elaine, thanks for that. I was unaware they munch on fuchsia bushes!! I have put some lovely photos of the moth onto the article and you can see how it got its name with one of them!Thanks again, cheers George

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