The Moths of Suffolk
1992 Small Elephant Hawk-moth, Deilephila porcellus, (Linnaeus, 1758)

National Status : Local

Local Status : Resident (SMP Status 2)

Distribution and abundance : Local, mainly Brecks and Sandlings, can be abundant where it occurs

Habitats : Grassland, heathland, vegetated shingle

Larval foodplants : bedstraws, especially Lady's Bedstraw but also Hedge, Marsh and Heath Bedstraws.

Morley's Final Catalogue : Sometimes not uncommon in sandy districts, but always very uncertain in appearance. One in an Ipswich garden (Ml), around which town it is of extreme rarity; nor does it occur anywhere on the clay of High Suffolk. Occasionally in Waldringfield gardens (Wlr); Staverton Thicks in June 1929 (T. G. Powell); Aldeburgh (Hele, 1870); Halesworth in 1936 (Hocken). Many at flowers at dusk during June 1934 in Gorleston (Mr, Trans. ii, 294) and at Herringfleet Hall (Lady Jackson). Bungay (Crf); fairly common at Needham in 1922 (Platten); not uncommon about Stowmarket (Nat, 1857). Bury, Tuddenham and Brandon, before 1890. The Devil's Dyke on June 12th 1827, by Rev. L. Jenyns (Stephens i, 132). Brandon in 1937.

Wingspan details : Forewing 21-25mm, Wingspan 47-56mm

Identification

Confusion species
    AdultElephant Hawk-moth, Deilephila elpenor

Compare confusion species
    Adult

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Ipswich, Suffolk (v.2003) © N Sherman

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

Further Photographs

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Found by day on Heath bedstraw - Ipswich, Suffolk (vii.2006) © Neil Sherman
Found by day on bedstraw - Kercaszomor, Hungary (13.ix.2009) © Neil Sherman
Found by day on bedstraw - Kercaszomor, Hungary (13.ix.2009) © Neil Sherman
 
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Ipswich, Suffolk (17.vi.2012) © Neil Sherman
Bradwell, Suffolk (6.vii.2013) © Keith Knights