Mysterious Moth
Location:  Poulton-Le-Fylde, Lancashire
August 9, 2010 5:54 pm
This Moth was on our kitchen window on the outside and it was massive compared with moths I have seen it is even bigger than the tiger moth. Its body is what got me interested as it is very wide compared to other moths I have seen and its wing span must have been at least 5 inches.

Poplar Hawkmoth

Hi Laura,
According to the UK Moths Website, the Poplar Hawkmoth,
Laothoe populi, is:  “Probably the commonest of our [UK] hawk-moths, it has a strange attitude when at rest, with the hindwings held forward of the forewings, and the abdomen curved upwards at the rear. If disturbed it can flash the hindwings, which have a contrasting rufous patch, normally hidden.  Distributed commonly throughout most of Britain, the adults are on the wing from May to July, when it is a frequent visitor to light.  The larvae feed on poplar (Poplar), aspen (P. tremula) and sallow (Salix).”  The resting attitude that is describes is well illustrated in your photograph.

Thank you for taking the time to get back to me. I probably seem thick to you lol but me and my husband had never seen that moth before even though it is quite common.

Not at all Laura,
Often common species are absent from certain locations, perhaps because the food plant is absent.  Insects are often overlooked.

We try and grow certain plants to keep different types of birds and bugs coming to our garden. We have just put some nettles in to attract the red admiral as we haven’t seen many this year so thought if we can start growing some nettles it might attract them for next year. We have a pond for the frogs to come 3 different cherry trees for the birds etc. We are trying to do our bit for them.

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