The Moths of Suffolk
1976 Privet Hawk-moth, Sphinx ligustri, (Linnaeus, 1758)

National Status : Common

Local Status : Resident and immigrant (SMP Status 1)

Distribution and abundance : Widespread and common

Habitats : Broadleaved woodland, grassland, heathland, scrub, gardens, fens and coastal areas

Flight Period : Single-brooded; June to July

Larval foodplants : Wild and Garden Privet, Ash, Lilac and Guelder-rose

Morley's Final Catalogue : With this great Hawk we return to the genuine British article: it has ever been like 'the poor' ! Astonishingly rare in our County, though in 1857 Greene considered the larvae not uncommon on privet and ash about Playford; and four were taken at Ipswich on 18 September 1892. The imago occasionally flies to light in that town and has been bred at Martiesham (D), but does not occur in High Suffolk. In general, its occurrence is well illustrated by Bury where "it used to be plentiful near the town, and larvae appeared in even our own garden at Northgate, but I never see it now " (Horace Barker, in lit. 22 May 1935).

Wingspan details : Forewing 41-55mm, Wingspan 100-120mm

Identification

Confusion species
    AdultConvolvulus Hawk-moth, Agrius convolvuli
Pine Hawk-moth, Hyloicus pinastri

Compare confusion species
    Adult

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Ipswich, Suffolk (vii.2002) © N Sherman

Flight chart
JFMAMJJASOND
5 100 72 2

Life history chart
JFMAMJJASOND
pupa pupa pupa pupa pupa ovaimago ovalarvaimago larva larvapupa pupa pupa pupa

Further Photographs

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Thetford (17.vii.2002) © L Gregory
New Forest (26.vi.2000) © Paul Kitchener
Found at night on small Privet bush - Shingle street, Suffolk (viii.2008) © Neil Sherman
 
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Ipswich, Suffolk (5.vii.2010) © A Prichard
Found at night on small Privet bush - Shingle street, Suffolk (viii.2008) © Neil Sherman
Ipswich, Suffolk (4.vii.2012) © Neil Sherman
 
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Ipswich, Suffolk (4.vii.2012) © Neil Sherman
Ipswich, Suffolk (19.vi.2012) © A Prichard
Ipswich, Suffolk (19.vi.2012) © A Prichard
 
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Ipswich, Suffolk (7.vi.2017) © Paul Kitchener