Eyed Hawk-moth Smerinthus ocellata
Eyed Hawk-moth Smerinthus ocellata
Adult • © Eric Soothill

69.002 BF1980
Eyed Hawk-moth Smerinthus ocellata

(Linnaeus, 1758)

Wingspan 70-80 mm.

Fairly well distributed throughout England and Wales, this species has a sombre, camouflaged appearance at rest, but if provoked, flashes the hindwings, which are decorated with intense blue and black 'eyes' on a pinkish background.

The adults fly from May to July, inhabiting woodland and suburban localities.

The green caterpillars resemble those of the Poplar Hawk-moth (Laothoe populi), but have a bluish-coloured spike at the rear. They feed on sallow (Salix), apple (Malus) and several other trees.
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