Poplar Hawk-Moth from England

Hi Bugman, could you please help identify this moth we have taken a picture of ?
Sun, Jun 28, 2009 at 6:22 AM
We live in the North East of England and we found this guy clinging to the outer wall of my Dad’s house near the porch, he has been sitting there for a few days. We have been able to have a good look at him. He looks about 3 inches wide with a body length of 1.5 inches, with brown body colours rather like a tree, with a fine black outline. His wings have a crinkled appearance also, they don’t appear straight and his body is quite thick in appearance which narrows down and turns up at the end. He has identical white markings on his wings like small half moon shapes. He could be quite common I don’t know but we thought he looked kinda special and would appreciate your help to find out what species he is. Sorry if I am calling our moth a he as I don’t have any knowledge of bugs he could well be a she! Thank you for your site, my family and I have been looking at the range of different bug’s most of which we hav’nt ever come across before and they are a delight!
Jo North East England
Sunderland North East England

Poplar Hawk-Moth
Poplar Hawk-Moth

Hi Jo,
This is a Poplar Hawk-Moth, Laothoe populi.  According to the UK Moths website, it is:  ”
Probably the commonest of our 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 ). “

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