Spurge Hawk-moth

Latin name: Hyles euphorbiae

The fore-wings of the Spurge Hawk-moth are ash-brown with lighter band towards the wing tips. The hind-wings are pink, edged with black and have a basal white spot. The caterpillars are very distinctive, and develop on spurges (Euphorbiasp.), a plant toxic for herbivores and most plant-eating insects. The bright colours of the moths and caterpillars warn the aggressor of their toxicity. The adult moths fly at night. It over-winters as a pupa. Preferred habitats are dry grasslands that are hot and rich in spurge plants. Being an excellent flyer it can be found in many areas, from sea level to approx. 2000m altitude. As long as spurge-rich grasslands persist, used for traditional extensive grazing or mowing, the Spurge Hawk-moth is not threatened. Intensive agriculture and construction have reduced the habitat of this species in central and western Europe. It is a good indicator of extensive grassland, which favours the maintenance of biodiversity.

Wing span: 70-75 mm

  • Flight period
  • Egg period
  • Larva period
  • Pupa period

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