anyone know what this moth is? ( UK )

Mark Boddington mark_boddington at
Fri Jul 24 18:09:08 EDT 1998

It's a poplar hawkmoth (Laothoe populi), generally common throughout the UK.
At rest the hindwings protrude above the forewings so the red patches
visible on your picture are hidden.  When disturbed the red patches are
exposed, presumably to frighten off attackers - evidently doesn't work on
wasps!  There's loads of information on this and other hawkmoths from the
region at the following URL:

By the way, earlier in the year I found nine poplar hawk ova on the
underside of a single poplar leaf.  A record perhaps?  Initially suspected
they might be infertile, but they're all in their third/fourth instar now,
so I guess they weren't.


Riz wrote:

>I was trying out my new digicam in some woods yesterday when I saw
>this moth on the ground, being attacked by a wasp.
>Well, I got rid of the wasp and got this pic,
>I think it was about 8cm across.
>I've looked in a couple of books but can't find anything that looks
>much like it.

More information about the Leps-l mailing list