Location: Sweden, Stockholm
May 23, 2016 10:14 pm
I would really like to know what kind of moth this is. It was aproximately 2.5 inches.
The Poplar Hawkmoth, Laothoe populi, is one of the largest members of the family Sphingidae found in Europe. According to UK Moths: “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.” According to The Sphingidae of the Western Palaearctic: “Frequents almost any damp, low-lying area, such as country lanes, open woodland rides, railway cuttings or town parks, particularly where Populus spp. but also Salix spp. are present; commoner where the former occurs. Up to 1600m in the Alps. Most emerge late at night or early in the morning, clambering up the tree trunk at the base of which the larva had pupated. Not until the following evening does the moth take flight, females quickly selecting a resting position amongst foliage from which the males are attracted at around midnight. Once paired, they remain coupled until the following evening when, after separation, the females start laying eggs almost immediately.”
Correction: Eyed Hawkmtoh
May 22, 2018
We just received a comment from Chanda that alerted us to this misidentification. We concur that this is an Eyed Hawkmoth which is pictured on Sphingidae of the Western Palaearctic.