Elephants on the Tarleton reserve!

August 26, 2019

I was busy mowing the rides of the wood today and saw what intially seemed to be two small snakes !! In fact they were two very large caterpillars of The Elephant hawk moth


 


Elephant Hawk-moth  Deilephila elpenor


 


The larvae are usually seen when looking for somewhere to pupate, or when resting on stems in good weather, as they are very large, with noticeable eye markings. They overwinter as pupae in fragile cocoons at the base of plants in loose plant debris/litter, or just below the surface of the ground.


 



  • Wingspan Range – 45-60mm


 


Caterpillar Food Plants


 


Rosebay Willowherb (Epilobium angustifolium), other willowherbs, bedstraws (Galium), Enchanter’s Nightshade, fuchsias and Himalyan Balsalm


cheers David

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