Elephant hawk-moth

Adult elephant hawk-moths are quite a common sight May-July across the UK. Frank Lees bred this moth from a larva between 1927 and 1928. It emerged as an adult July 1928.

The caterpillar (larva) looks a little like an elephant’s trunk. It would make a tasty snack for a foraging bird but it has alarming eye spots and by rearing up and retracting its head it tricks the bird into thinking it is a snake.

Object Summary

Accession Loan No.
Collection Class
Collection Area Region
Northern Europe
Collector Excavator
Devonshire Association (from the collection of): Lees, Mr Frank H
Common Name
elephant hawk-moth
Simple Name
insect: moth
Period Classification
Inter War (1918-1939); Modern (1900-)

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SPHINGIDAE: Deilephila elpenor (Linnaeus, 1758): elephant hawk-moth