Eye of wpsa


Click image for larger version

We photographed this creature in Hounslow, West London, UK, in the summer of 1998, and wondered what it was - we've not seen a moth this large before.

August 2000 - An authoritative answer from George Beccaloni at the Natural History Museum, London, UK has been forwarded to us by Liz and Jon Maidment.

Date: Tue, 01 Aug 2000 14:38:35 +0100
To: Jon Maidment [email removed]
From: George Beccaloni [email removed]
Subject: Re: query

Dear Jon,

Your photo is of an Elephant Hawk-moth (Deilephila elpenor).
It is a fairly common species in the London area, although 
not often seen unless you are looking for it. 
The larva feeds on willowherb, bedstraw etc.

Best wishes,

George Beccaloni
In May 1999, we received this email (thanks to Thomas Longmore and John Snyder)
From: John Snyder [email removed]
To: thomas [email removed]
Date: 28 May 1999 14:36
Subject: Re: moths resent

Thomas, I don't know the European moths
very well at all. It certainly appears
to be a member of Family Sphingidae.
When I looked at a couple of web sources
for British and Continental sphingids,
the closest I could come up with was:
Theretra alecto. But it is described as
being from the warmer climates.

A photo of that animal is to be found at :

I doubt that this helps, but it's worth a try.

Furman University
Greenville, SC (USA)
Thanks to those that submitted ideas.