The Moths of Suffolk
1991 Elephant Hawk-moth, Deilephila elpenor, (Linnaeus, 1758)

National Status : Common

Local Status : Resident (SMP Status 1)

Distribution and abundance : Widespread and common

Habitats : In a wide variety; heathland, grassland, fens, woodland, scrub and gardens

Flight Period : Single-brooded; mid-May to mid-August. Reported occasional records of late adults late in summer has not been observed in the county

Larval foodplants : Rosebay Willowherb, also Great Willowherb, other willowherbs and bedstraws, fuschias, Enchanter's-nightshade and Himalayan Balsam

Morley's Final Catalogue : This Hawk's Suffolk headquarters are, or were before their recent contamination, the broad marshes of the Gipping valley; here Baylis found many larvae at Ipswich, Crewe 'once took about thirty on a small patch of Galium palustre' at Stowmarket (Nat. 1857 ), and it wa s quite abundant on that plant at Bramford in 1894 (Mly) and mid-August 1917 (Vinter). larvae plentiful at Sudbury in 1898-9 (Ransom). Martlesham (D). Common at Bury in 1897 (Sparke). Hoxne (N.B.Garrard); Beccles (Hockey, Mr); Oulton marshes in July 1932 (Ellis).

Wingspan details : Forewing 28-33mm, Wingspan 62-72mm

Identification

Confusion species
    AdultSmall Elephant Hawk-moth, Deilephila porcellus

Compare confusion species
    Adult

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Ipswich, Suffolk (vi.2002) © N Sherman

Flight chart
JFMAMJJASOND
5 100 60 2

Life history chart
JFMAMJJASOND
pupa pupa pupa pupa imago ovaimago larva larva pupa pupa pupa pupa

Further Photographs

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Found at the base of Rosebay Willowherb - Ipswich, Suffolk (vii.2003) © N Sherman
Found in the evening on Great Hairy Willowherb - Ipswich, Suffolk (viii.2003) © N Sherman
Stonham Aspal, Suffolk (9.vi.2010) © Brian Buffery
 
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Minsmere, Suffolk (30.vii.2010) © Brian Buffery
Larva on Greater Willowherb - Alphamstone, Essex (1.vi.2004) © Jonathan Tyler
Eye (1.vi.2000) © Paul Kitchener
 
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Stonham Aspal, Suffolk (9.vi.2010) © Brian Buffery
Ipswich, Suffolk (23.vi.2012) © Neil Sherman