This resident moth flashes reddish-brown patches on underwings if disturbed. The wings can sometimes have a pinkish/purplish tinge. Adult does not feed.

Female comes to light before midnight, the male after midnight, in greater numbers. Rests with abdomen curved up and hindwings further forward than the forewings. Larvae can be found between June to early October.

Flight Season

Flies from May to July in one generation but a partial second can occur in the south between August and September.

Size and Family

  • Family: Hawk-moths (Sphingidae)
  • Size: Large, wingspan 6.5-9cm 

Caterpillar Food Plants

Caterpillars feed on Poplars (Populus), Aspen (P. tremula), White Poplar, Black-poplar, Lombardy-poplar, sallows and willows, especially Goat and Grey Willows. 

Habitat

Low heathland and moorland, fens, woodland, parks and gardens.   

Distribution

  • Countries: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales.
  • Widely distributed, common wherever foodplant occurs.
Poplar Hawk-moth - Iain Leach

Poplar Hawk-moth

Poplar Hawk-moth - Iain Leach

Poplar Hawk-moth

Poplar Hawk-moth - Ryszard Szczygieł

Poplar Hawk-moth

Poplar Hawk-moth - Ryszard Szczygieł

Poplar Hawk-moth

Poplar Hawk-moth - John Murray

Poplar Hawk-moth

Poplar Hawk-moth (female & male) - James O'Neill

Poplar Hawk-moth (male & female)

Poplar Hawk-moth

Poplar Hawk-moth

Poplar Hawk-moth (caterpillar) - Bob Eade

Poplar Hawk-moth (caterpillar)