Sphingidae » Smerinthinae
With a wingspan of 65 to 90mm (almost 4 inches) this is one big moth. It has quite an odd way of positioning its wings and curving its abdomen when at rest, probably to camouflage itself amongst trees or shrubs during the day. It will flash its rufous hindwing spots if it feels threatened to ward off predators as can be seen in the image below.
The adult flies May to July, and is very much attracted to light. They can be seen in various habitats, including woodland, parks and gardens. One of Britain’s commonest hawkmoths and widespread. The larva feeds on poplar, aspen and sallow.
© Pete Hillman July 2017.