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Elephant hawk-moth

Elephant hawk-moth

One of our most beautiful moths, the elephant hawk-moth ‘deilephia elpenor’ stands out from the crowd!

Found in woodlands, gardens and other habitats, adults may be seen nectaring on honeysuckle and rhododendron flowers at dusk.

However, you are more likely to see the huge brown or green larvae, which sport huge eye spots to warn off potential predators. When extended, they resemble an elephant’s trunk.

The larvae feed on willowherb, bedstraw and fuchsia leaves, overwintering as pupae formed beneath the soil.

Look out for these moths from mid-May to early August. They can sometimes be found during the day near lights. The larvae are easy to find feeding at night in August to September.

Photos: Chris Piper

ID Tip

ID Tip

Pink and olive green forewings and body (wingspan 62-72 mm); hindwings are pink and black. Only one moth is similar, the small elephant hawk-moth, which has much more pink on the thorax and forewings.

Lead Ranger


'To help ground nesting birds rear their young safely, keep yourself, dogs and ridden horses on the main tracks from the beginning of March to the end of August.'

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