Privet Hawkmoth (Sphinx ligustri)

There are certain groups of creatures that create excitement amongst enthusiasts. In birds it is the raptors, in flowers orchids, and in moths it is the hawkmoths.

This is an absolute beauty to behold, over two inches in body length and nearly four inches wide when the wings are fully spread they can seem like bats flying if you see one at your window. Close up, in the light of day, they are superb with a pink and black body and strikingly marked wings that actually provide excellent camouflage whilst at rest.

The Privet Hawkmoth is single brooded flying in June and July and inhabits gardens, woodlands and similar habitats. It is widespread but not common across the south of England.

Not surprisingly the food plants of the larvae include wild Privet but also occur on Lilac, Holly and Ash.

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