Species Account

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Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: Common

Local Status: Fairly common and widespread resident.

Local Record: Grade 2   See here for explanation

Flight time: One generation, Jun-Jul.

Forewing: 41-55mm.

Foodplant: Wild and Garden Privet, Ash, Lilac and Guelder-rose.

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 recorded188819841888
Year last recorded201120062011
Number of records1784313630
Number of individuals3247426578
Unique positions2095428
Unique locations1724352
Adult records1725313512
Immature records306

For the region, we have a total of 3630 records from 352 sites. Earliest record on file is in 1888.


1976 Privet Hawk-moth 03
© Martin Wood
1976 Privet Hawk-moth 02
© Tom Morris
1976 Privet Hawk-moth 01
© Terry Box, 02 Jun 2005

Species Account

For further information refer UK Moths.

Davey, P., 2009: A species found in southern England and Wales, the larva feeding on wild privet (Ligustrum vulgare), holly (Ilex aquifolium), ash (Fraxinus excelsior) and lilac (Syringa vulgaris). In Dorset, the moth is commonest in chalky districts where wild privet and ash occur together and rarest where these two plants are absent, for example on heathland. Frequent trapping in holly-rich habitat, such as Holt Wood, has failed to produce the moth, although Reverend E Bankes found the larva feeding on a holly tree in his garden at Corfe Castle in 1888.

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