Elephant Hawk-Moth

This stunning moth resembles the colours of its caterpillars’ favourite foodplants, willow herbs, and can sometimes be seen resting among the foliage of these plants during the day in early summer. The large, dark body, eye-spots and strangely slender, trunk-like front segments of the caterpillar give it a curiously elephantine appearance, hence its name. Less commonly, the caterpillars also come in a green form. When threatened, it withdraws the small front segments into its body, puffing up its eye-spots. They make a loose cocoon of silk and dead leaves on the ground in which to pupate through the winter and spring. They have been seen at various sites all over the Welly estate.

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