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Massive moth

Discussion in 'Flora & Fauna' started by woodspirits, Jun 14, 2019.

  1. woodspirits

    woodspirits Full Member

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    4D7C6DEB-CCB1-44D0-8D8F-BC6AD456C2FF.jpeg Having a wander around the highlands, I came upon this beauty today. Turns out it’s an elephant hawk moth, body 2 to 3” with a wing span of up to 8”!
     
    #1 woodspirits, Jun 14, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2019
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  2. daveO

    daveO Native

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    They're stunning looking things. Oddly I see loads of the caterpillars but I've only ever seen one or two adults.
     
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  3. Nomad64

    Nomad64 Full Member

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    Lovely pic - “highlands” = Lickey Hills? ;)
     
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  4. woodspirits

    woodspirits Full Member

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    Bit further north, around Glen Affric :)
     
    #4 woodspirits, Jun 14, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2019
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  5. woodspirits

    woodspirits Full Member

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    Certainly are, first one I have seen too.
     
  6. santaman2000

    santaman2000 M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    Maybe that’s the way their reproduction works? Many, many larvae with only a few surviving to adulthood?
     
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  7. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    Each moth pair only produces 2 eggs that survive into adulthood and reproduction.
     
  8. Billy-o

    Billy-o Settler

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    I thought to myself 'that thing looks poisonous with them colours'. Seems not though
     
  9. Trencakey

    Trencakey Nomad

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    I get a few here in the garden,quite big but not 8" wingspan,more in the region of 2".My local forestry gets quite a few of the caterpillars as they feed on the Rosebay that grows there.
     
  10. daveO

    daveO Native

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    I guess so. The caterpillars are big scary looking things though. They'll mimic a snake striking at you if you touch them.
     
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  11. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    I find moths more beautiful and interesting than butterflies.

    Have you seen the moth that resembles a hummingbird? Fantastic.
     
  12. Nice65

    Nice65 Full Member

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    8 inch wingspan? Centimetres I think. Most sites are quoting 60-85mm which is about right according to the few I’ve seen. We get them here on our chalkland as it favours Rosebay Willowherb, but it’s still a thrill to find one in the garden, I think they’re one of the most beautiful moths. Plant lots of Fucshias if you want to attract them.

    The Convolvulus Hawk moth is palm sized. I remember one flying into the pub I was in one night and the barmaid running out the backdoor screaming about bats. They’re big.
     
  13. woodspirits

    woodspirits Full Member

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    Your probably right, typically I can’t find the link I quoted from. Still impressive. :)
     
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  14. Robson Valley

    Robson Valley Full Member

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    Cecropia and Polyphemus are the two big Saturnidae moths that we see in any abundance here.
    Some years, it seems that the majority of larvae (caterpillars) are parasitized by wasps (Hymenoptera) or flies (Diptera).
    Thus the pupating larvae ares incapable of eclosing as adult moths.
     
  15. Nice65

    Nice65 Full Member

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    They really are aren’t they? I’m always thrilled when I see one. The Hummingbird Hawk moth is another fascinating member of the family. Not my footage, I’m always too busy being amazed to go and get a camera.

     
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  16. woodspirits

    woodspirits Full Member

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    Nice to see that, I found the one here on the floor so put it in a tree out of the way, gone the next day. Would have been good to see it on the wing
     
  17. Nice65

    Nice65 Full Member

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    Or in the beak of a Thrush, hopefully after it had done its thing.:)

    I was watching a Blackbird today trying to carry way to much in its beak and keep dropping the odd beetle or lose a worm. It didn’t give up until it had its wriggling load secure to go and feed the greedy chicks.
     
  18. sunndog

    sunndog Full Member

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    No idea they existed much less ever seen one. Very cool video

    As the camera pans around and the angle was right I kept thinking.....how is that not a bird? Lol
     
  19. Broch

    Broch Full Member

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    I love the Hawk Moths but rarely see them which is strange because a few of them are quite common and they're on the large size.

    Here's my own Hummingbird Hawk Moth - not easy to photograph 'cos they don't stay still. We get a few every year.

    humming bird moth - 20060910_0051 - 1024 - 25.jpg
     
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  20. Robson Valley

    Robson Valley Full Member

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    The big Saturnidae have a flip-flop, zig-zag flight that reminds me of bat flight.
    They can accelerate and they are very fast when frightened.

    We have a little one that attends the lilacs when they are freshly opened, in broad daylight.
    Pigmented edges but otherwise transparent wings.

    Any industrial buildings with security yard lights near you?
    Go near sunrise and look at the walls near the lights.
    Common roosting spots.
     

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