Small Elephant Hawk-moth

  • Small Elephant Hawk-moth
    Small Elephant Hawk-moth
  • Small Elephant Hawk-moth
    Small Elephant Hawk-moth
  • Small Elephant Hawk-moth
    Small Elephant Hawk-moth
  • Small Elephant Hawk-moth
    Small Elephant Hawk-moth
  • Small Elephant Hawk-moth
    Small Elephant Hawk-moth
  • Small Elephant Hawk-moth
    Small Elephant Hawk-moth
  • Small Elephant Hawk-moth
    Small Elephant Hawk-moth
  • Small Elephant Hawk-moth
    Small Elephant Hawk-moth

Scientific name: Deilephila porcellus

More brightly coloured, though smaller, than the Elephant Hawk-moth (D. elpenor), which has a more greenish than yellowish tinge. Adults fly between May and July. Attracted to light.

Flies from dusk, though newly emerged adults can sometimes be seen during the day. Feeds from Viper’s Bugloss, campions, Honeysuckle, Red Valerian and Rhododendron. Larva late June to early September. Larva is similar to its larger cousin and feeds by night; during the day it hides below its foodplant. Pupa is found in a fragile cocoon at the base of the foodplant in loose litter, or just beneath the surface.

 Size and Family

  • Family: Hawk-moths (Sphingidae)
  • Size: Medium, 4-5cm wingspan 

Particular Caterpillar Food Plants

Bedstraws, especially Ladies Bedstraw (Galium verum), though also Hedge, Marsh and Heath Bedstraws. Has also been found on Rosebay Willowherb and Purple-loosestrife 

Distribution

  • Countries: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales
  • Widespread in Britain, locally distributed in England and Wales, more scarce in north of England and Scotland, widespread in Ireland (but mainly coastal)

Habitat

A range of habitats, particularly with a short grassy sward, including chalk and limestone grassland, but also damp, neutral grassland. Heathland, commons, shingle beaches, sand dunes and golf courses.

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