About My Moths Blog
My Moths Blog is a diary of the comings and goings recorded at my moth station, together with other general information about moths that I feel you may find useful and/or interesting.

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For more information on specific moth species I am currently working on two new sections of the site, Steve's Micro Moths and Steve's Macro Moths, which can be accessed from the buttons at the bottom of the page. Please note that these are works in progress, so will take some time to complete.


Privet Hawk Moth The UK Largest Resident Moth

UK's largest resident moth is the Privet Hawk-moth (Sphinx ligustri) with a wingspan between 90mm to 120mm this makes for an impressive sight when seen laying in a vertical position with its wings open. To me, it resembles an aircraft ready for taking off.

The Privet Mawk-moth is from the family Sphingidae 17 Hawkmoths of 3 subfamilies, 3 Smerinthinae, 4 Sphinginae the Privet Hawk and 10 Macroglossinae. With a distinctive pink and black striped abdomen and hindwings when resting vertically.

The moth flies at night but is also attracted to light, which is good fortune if you are a moth light trapper. This year between June and July the moth's flight period I have recorded 11 Privet hawk – moths to my 125w mercury vapour lamp( MV) skinners design light trap on my 6-acre wildlife meadow in Tibenham Norfolk.

The Privet Hawk moth feeds at night on nectar from highly-scented flowers.

The caterpillar/Larva can be found from July-September and is a magnificent bright green with white, purple stripes and a black curved tail. The food plant of the caterpillar is Privet (Ligustrum), Lilac (Syringa) and young Ash saplings (Fraxinus), Guelder-rose, Holly, Honeysuckle, Snowberry, Vibernum tinus, Forsythia and Spirea.

The pupa overwinters below ground 300mm or more.

The Privet Hawkmoths habitat is open woodland, hedgerows, gardens, downland, fens, coastal scrub. The moth prefers calcareous soils containing calcium carbonate; chalky.

The Privet hawk moths status in Britain is classified as common.


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