Subject: Strange Moth-Like Bug
Location: Metro Vancouver, BC, Canada
August 6, 2016 5:37 pm
My name is Jason, and I discovered this Moth-Like bug in July in the Metro Vancouver area in British Columbia, Canada. It was completely fur-less, with the wings being scale-less and almost plasticy. the rear of the abdomen ends in a sort of spike that was longish and seemed kind of flexible.
I estimated the body to be about two inches long.
I had ended up finding it because my cat was trying to eat it,and i thought it was really cool looking so I took pictures she stopped him from actually taking a nibble. just in case it was poisonous. the bright pink colour made me wary.
Signature: Jason

Large Elephant Hawkmoth

Large Elephant Hawkmoth

Dear Jason,
We were very surprised to get your submission of a Large Elephant Hawkmoth,
Deilephila elpenor, from Vancouver because this is a European species, and then we were even more surprised when we learned on the Sphingidae of the Americas site that it  “has recently established populations in southern British Columbia, Canada.”  According to BugGuide:  “Reportedly introduced to British Columbia ca. 1995.”  According to Pacific Northwest Moths:  ” It is unclear how the species was introduced or if it has started to spread to other areas.  It has been suggested that this moth was released deliberately by an amateur entomologist, but this has not been substantiated.”  According to the Sphingidae of the Eastern Palaearctic:  “This species has also recently been recorded from southern British Columbia, Canada, as an introduction.”  Hawkmoths are very strong fliers that are often found far out to sea, and we were secretly hoping that the Vancouver population was a result of a fertile female flying from Siberia.  To the best of our knowledge, the species is not poisonous.

Large Elephant Hawkmoth

Large Elephant Hawkmoth

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Location: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

7 Responses to Large Elephant Hawkmoth in British Columbia

  1. Debbie & Steve Bartakovic says:

    We own a tree nursery in Southern BC and have also found one of these very large caterpillars. Are they invasive? We are not sure if we should just let him go on his way.

  2. Debbie James - Bartakovic says:

    Great, thank you…appreciate your reply as we have found a few of them. I think they like it here! ?

  3. Deborah says:

    Wow, I was standing in front of a planter of petunias at dusk about a month ago and watched one of these fly around the flowers. I had no idea what it was and I am really happy to have stumbled on this site! I am on Gabriola Island in British Columbia.

  4. Buddy Gilmore says:

    I have captured what I think is an Elephant Hawk Moth Caterpillar in Jupiter Florida. I would be happy to send pictures, as I can’t find any references to this moth occurring in Florida.

  5. Wendy Langridge says:

    Can you tell me which moth has a bright red abdomen? Lower mainland BC. I have pictures

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