Species Account

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Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: Common

Local Status: Very common and widespread resident.

Local Record: Grade 1   See here for explanation

Flight time: Two generations, May-Jun, Jul-Aug, a few through Sep.

Forewing: 30-46mm.

Foodplant: Poplars, Aspen, sallows and willows.

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 recorded1905200719751905
Year last recorded2011200820112011
Number of records419724819360
Number of individuals8296598118564
Unique positions369220782
Unique locations265119570
Adult records398424798930
Immature records50010

For the region, we have a total of 9360 records from 570 sites. Earliest record on file is in 1905.


1981 Poplar Hawk-moth 04 pupa
© Gillian Nash, October 2017
1981 Poplar Hawk-moth 03
© Paul Harris
1981 Poplar Hawk-moth 02
© Tom Morris
1981 Poplar Hawk-moth 01
© Terry Box, 11 Jul 2003

Species Account

For further information refer UK Moths.

Davey, P., 2009: A species found throughout the British Isles, the larva feeding on sallow and willow (Salix spp.), and poplar (Populus spp.). In Dorset, the moth is widespread across the county and frequent. It shares the Eyed Hawk's1980 preference for damp habitats, but is recorded four times more often on average. The moth is on the wing between late April and early September, and appears to be double brooded with two distinct peaks, however, the national norm is for a single brood between May and July. The following Poplar Hawks were recorded at light traps on rather late dates at the end of warmer than usual summers: Iwerne Minster, on 22 September 1964 (H Moore), Puddletown, on 19 September 2002 (H Wood Homer), Hurn, on 26 September 2006 (M Jeffes).

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