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moth Poplar Hawk-moths

Identify It >   Moth Section >   Poplar Hawk-moths >

Scientific name:  Laothoe populi

Size:  Wingspan from 70mm to 90mm

Distribution:  Found throughout the UK.

Months seen:  May to August

Habitat:  Gardens, parks and woodland

Food:  The adults do not feed, but the caterpillars feed on willows, aspen, sallow and poplars (hence the name)

Special features:  Poplar hawkmoths can vary in colour from grey to pinky-brown.  They look abit unusual because the hind wings stick out in front of the forewings when at rest.  This is because the moth has no 'frenulum', which is a kind of hook for holding the wings in position.

When disturbed Poplar hawk-moths will flash two bright orange patches on their hindwings.  The patches are hidden when the moth is resting.

The caterpillars of the Poplar hawkmothss are bright green with a yellow horn on the rear end, and diagonal yellow stripes along the sides of the body.

These moths are attracted to light at night.


2015 - Royal Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire - Judy Fairbanks (photo)
2015 - Rushden, Northampton - Dawn Johnson (photo)
2015 - Sinfin, Derbyshire - Greg Waite (photo)

2017 - Stourport On Severn, Worcestershire - Caroline Wood (photo)
2017 - Findochty, Moray - Phil Jerome (photo)
2017 - Kempsey, Worcestershire - Robert Gillespie (photo)

2018 - Boyden Gate, Kent - Glynn Crocker (photo)

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