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UK Nature > Moths > Deilephila elpenor




Scientific Name: Deilephila elpenor
Common Name: Elephant Hawk Moth

Deilephila elpenor, more commonly known as the Elephant Hawk Moth, is a medium-sized hawk-moth (wingspan 45mm - 60mm), on the wing from May to July visiting flowers such as honeysuckle (Lonicera) for nectar and active at dusk. It is mainly golden yellow-olive with bright pink bars on the wings and body and is commonly found in parks and gardens, as well as woodland edges, rough grassland and sand dunes.

The caterpillars are seen from July to September and are very characteristic: greyish-green or brown with two enormous, black eyespots towards the head. When disturbed, they swell up to show these spots and scare-off predators. The caterpillars feed on willowherbs, fuchsia and bedstraw, and overwinter as chrysalides, hidden amongst low vegetation or in the soil.











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