Species Account

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Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: Common

Local Status: Common and widespread resident.

Local Record: Grade 1   See here for explanation

Flight time: One generation, May-Aug.

Forewing: 28-33mm.

Foodplant: Rosebay Willowherb, other willowherbs and bedstraws.

IMPORTANT - Please note that the maps and accounts are provisional, subject to change and further update.  The whole dataset still needs to go through the final verification process and it is likely that a very small number of records will not satisfy the present requirements and there are other records that have not been formally submitted.  The information is for guidance only.

Record breakdown:

Year first recorded1955200719831955
Year last recorded2011200720112011
Number of records391913438526
Number of individuals10292193022446
Unique positions350128758
Unique locations259122564
Adult records371213418108
Immature records200040

For the region, we have a total of 8526 records from 564 sites. Earliest record on file is in 1955.


1991 Elephant Hawk-moth 05 larva
© Jack Oughton
1991 Elephant Hawk-moth 04
© Dave Foot
1991 Elephant Hawk-moth 03
© Mike Hetherington
1991 Elephant Hawk-moth 02
© Tom Morris
1991 Elephant Hawk-moth 01
© Terry Box, 19 Jul 2003

Species Account

For further information refer UK Moths.

Davey, P., 2009: A frequent species across much of the British Isles, but local in northern Scotland, the larva feeding on willowherb (Epilobium spp.), balsam (Impatiens spp.), bedstraw (Galium spp.) and fuschia. In Dorset, this stunning moth is frequent across most habitat types apart from on Portland where it is rare, and rises to common in river and fen localities where great willowherb (Epilobium hirsutum) grows in profusion.

See background to species accounts.  Index of Vernacular names - Search - Random Species