Scientific Name: Deilephila elpenor
The Elephant Hawk-moth caterpillar is very large by usual standards here, at about 75mm long. As with nearly all Hawk-moth caterpillars there is a curved 'horn' or spine on the last segment. When behaving normally it has a narrower front segment which resembles an elephant's trunk trunk, hence its name. They are usually found as they rest during the day in leaf and other debris.
When alarmed it retracts its head and 'trunk' which enlarges the bulge. This displays the two spots which resemble eyes to give the appearance of a snake and should deter any predators.
The adult moth has a wingspan of about 50 to 70mm and marked in shades of pink and light brown. It feeds in the evening on nectar from Honeysukles, Fuchsias and Petunias. The main food plants of the caterpillar are Great and Rosebay Willowherbs also Enchanter's Nightshade. So perhaps it should be with the FRIENDS of the garden as anything which reduces these detestable weeds can only be welcomed, although they may also attack Fuchsias.
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