Eyed Hawk-moth

Smerinthus ocellata

Eyed Hawk-moth Moth Eyed Hawk-moth Moth

Grateful to Darren Parsons for the above photos of the impressive Eyed Hawk-moth, especially the one above right showing the startling effect of its "eyed" under-wings.

Large, with wingspan 70-90mm; UK flight time May-Aug.
 
Eyed Hawk-moth Moth Eyed Hawk-moth Moth

A large moth, the Eyed Hawk-moth looks a little similar to the Poplar Hawk-moth (but with darker head) until it opens its wings to reveal the

black-bordered blue "eye" rings on a pinky red background that give the moth its name (unfortunately not clearly seen in the photo above).

These photos were taken by Terry Hobbs on the walls of Moorlands Junior School, Bath.

 
 
Eyed Hawk-moth Moth Eyed Hawk-moth Moth
 
Photo by Terry Hobbs Photo by Darren Parsons   
     

The hawk-moth will raise its wings to reveal the full eyespots when it feels threatened, looking a little like an owl with the wingtips as ears and the body as beak, to startle predators and escape.

Despite its startling appearance it is, like all moths, completely harmless.