Rare Moth, or travelled from North Africa?
I enclose photos of a ‘bug’ which arrived at my house yesterday, 01/07/04, in Finistere, North France. Nobody around here has ever seen anything like it. It measures 4 cm long by 5 cm across the wings. The colouring is pink and khaki. It also seems to have a barb at its rear end. Photos taken in a Jam Jar. Any ideas??
The jam jar makes the moth difficult to see, and my moth guide does not include European species, so I cannot give you a positive identification. I can tell you it is a Hawkmoth, a member of the Family Sphingidae. The family has a worldwide distribution, and some species are quite common. It is a relative of the Tomato Hornworm, that large green caterpillar hated by home gardeners.
Update: ID thanks to Mardikavana
August 4, 2009
It should be an Elephant Hawk Moth Deilephila elpenor.
With all the new mail we answer, we don’t really have the time to sift through the archives for old questions. We really appreciate the assistance on this Elephant Hawkmoth identification. We are linking to the Sphingidae of the Eastern Palaearctic to provide our readers with more information. Since this letter, we have correctly identified several specimens of Deilephila elpenor.