The male has heavier markings than the female and sometimes has a broad central cross-band. The male also has thicker, longer antennae than the females. They usually hold the wings close to the body whilst resting, like the Privet and Pine Hawk-moths.
The adults fly from June to December, but are most commonly seen from late August to late November, when other migrant species are often in the UK. They are nocturnal and rest by day, when it can often be seen on walls, rocks and tree trunks. They are attracted to light and can be seen from dusk to dawn. As they have an unusually long proboscis, they are able to feed on tubular flowers e.g. tobacco plant (Nicotiana), petunia, lilies and phlox, that many other moths cannot feed on.
They are unable to overwinter in the UK. They pupate underground.
Size and Family
- Family: Hawk-moths (Sphingidae)
- Large Sized
- Wingspan Range - 80-120mm
- UK BAP: Not listed
Caterpillar Food Plants
As a migrant it cannot overwinter in the UK, but when larvae are seen, it is usually on wild or cultivated bindweed (Convolvulaceae).
Can be found anywhere, often in gardens.
- Countries: Africa
- Mostly coastal areas in south and east England, occasionally in large numbers, although has been seen as far north as the Shetland Islands.