Eyed Hawk-moth - Smerinthus ocellata


Wingspan 70-80 mm. This species has a sombre, camouflaged appearance at rest, but if provoked, flashes the hind wings, which are decorated with intense blue and black 'eyes' on a pinkish background.

Identification difficulty

Woodland and suburban localities.

When to see it

The adults fly from May to July

Life History

The green caterpillars resemble those of the Poplar Hawk-moth, but have a bluish-coloured spike at the rear. They feed on Willow, Apple and several other trees.

UK Status

Fairly well distributed throughout England and Wales, though not common. In a recent survey to determine the status of all macro moths in Britain this species was classified as common.

VC55 Status

Fairly common in Leicestershire and Rutland. L&R Moth Group status = A (common and resident)

69.002 BF1980

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map