Poplar Hawk-moth - Laothoe populi


Wingspan 65-90 mm. Probably the commonest of our hawk-moths, it has a strange attitude when at rest, with the hindwings held forward of the forewings and the abdomen curved upwards at the rear. If disturbed it can flash the hindwings, which have a contrasting rufous patch, normally hidden. There is an uncommon buff-coloured form which is more frequent in females.

Identification difficulty

Parkland, gardens, fens, woodland, heathland and moorland.

When to see it

The adults are on the wing from May to July, when it is a frequent visitor to light.

Life History

The green larvae feed on Poplar, Aspen and Willow. The larva's spike is plae greeny-yellow, sometimes with a red tinge at the base.

UK Status

Distributed commonly throughout most of Britain. In a recent survey to determine the status of all macro moths in Britain this species was classified as common.

VC55 Status

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

69.003 BF1981

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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