Elephant Hawkmoth

Whilst described by my Field Guide as ” one of the more common European hawkmoths”, I don’t remember ever seeing one before. This dead specimen was on the floor of one of our greenhouses. I’ll have to keep a watch out for the caterpillars because they can be voracious eaters of both the plants and fruit. Being brown or green they’ll be able to hide away in amongst the plants and be a problem until found.

They rapidly damage the plants, chewing their way through the leaves and (in the worst case) the stems low down out of sight, killing the plant before you know it. The first signs tend to be holes in the leaves and small black droppings around the leaves under where they’ve been eating. So, I’ll be on guard from now on.