Elephant Hawk-moth

Deilephila elpenor – This hawk-moth always reminds me of a fond time during my boyhood when my brother and I discovered the caterpillar for this moth, and subsequently watched it pupate and turn into this magnificent adult. Hawk-moths can be quite docile creatures in the daytime, and they will let you handle them readily, and tend to be very cooperative and accommodating on a photo shoot. This is one of our most beautiful moths with large pink and olive-green streamlined wings. The name comes from the caterpillar which looks like an elephant’s trunk when it extends itself. This is one of the few caterpillars that can actually swim, in which it may resemble a small grass snake.

Elephant Hawkmoth Deilephila elpenor

Elephant Hawkmoth Deilephila elpenor

Elephant Hawkmoth Deilephila elpenor

Copyright: Peter Hillman
Camera used: Nikon D7200
Date taken: 6th July 2019
Place: Attracted to moth trap, rear garden, Staffordshire


43 thoughts on “Elephant Hawk-moth

  1. Today I learnt that some caterpillars can actually swim. That was an interesting read, Pete! (And beautiful pictures as always.)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A swimming caterpillar? That’s astonishing. It certainly is a beautiful thing; the pinks and greens here are even more appealing. They’re much muted versions of the chartreuse and maroon that were popular here in the 1950s.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Vicki. They make good photo models as, despite their size and rapid flight, during the day they don’t fly far and will happily sit on the end of your finger 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. One of the most beautiful moths I have ever seen in a picture. And you captured this one so very well too. What colours! My favourite picture is the one where you can see the eye 🙂 Sympathetic guy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jill. Willowherb is one of my favourite wild flowers, and I always look out for the caterpillar to see if I can spy one when I pass a clump. But have never seen one since that first encounter many moons ago.

      Liked by 1 person

Your thoughts ...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.