Elephant Hawkmoth – Deilephila elpenor #10 by Carl Brenders

Elephant Hawkmoth - Deilephila elpenor #10 by Carl Brenders

Image Size: 10″ x 7-3/4″

The elephant moth appears very tailored with the olive-brown bands of the elongate forewings etched in a bright rose pink accented with white. This sphingid moth also has diffused olive-brown bands on the thorax with two prominent stripes on the abdomen alternating with pale rose. The under surface is heavily dusted in bright pink.

Its large caterpillar is tapered on the head with two false eyespots to accentuate the long-nose appearance and protect it from predators. With its stout body and aerodynamically shaped wigns, the elephant hawkmoth has a rapid, whirling flight and sometimes hovers like a hummingbird above a favorite nectar source, preferrably honeysuckle. Deilephila elpenor is widespread throughout Europe, across Asia to Japan and is normally observed in flight around dusk.

Text by Jacqueline Miller, Ph. D., Associate Curator, Allyn Museum of Entomology, Florida Museum of Natural History and Former President, The Lepidopterists’ Society

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