Sunday 21 June 2009

The Pink 'Un

Sorry to return to hawk moths so soon, but last night there was much excitement at Nige Towers when an Elephant Hawk Moth - a species I haven't seen in years (though it's common enough, as hawk moths go) - flew in out of the night, straight into the breakfast room. There it was bouncing blindly from wall to wall while the cat eyed it with murderous intent. As my son and I tried to steer it to safety, it landed on my jacket, where it seemed quite happy to pause while I admired it. Its wings were a frantic blur, but the fat, lightly furred, pink-and-olive-brown body was a sight in itself. It seemed best to get the poor bewildered thing back out into the garden, so I edged out with the moth still in situ, and, my son having turned on an outside light, I settled it among leaves near the light, where its wings came to rest and I was briefly able to admire the whole creature. It seemed best then to turn out the light and shut the door and leave this wonderful moth to recover and return to the night, its element.
(By the way, if you're wondering why 'elephant' hawk, it's because of a fancied resemblance between its caterpillar and an elephant.)


  1. What a beautiful party dress it's wearing! Clothes designers are fools who do not study these moths and butterflies for color inspiration. I can totally see a line of evening dresses in these patterns.

  2. You're right Susan - nature's colour combinations can't be beat - and the wing shape lends itself to dress design. The Mourning Cloak (our Camberwell Beauty) even takes its name from female attire. There may be other examples, especially among moths...

  3. I'm short on fashion sense, Nige, but this beauty reminds me of a Mardi Gras costume. Nature often seems to exceed any evolutionary advantage -- art for art's sake. A biologist once told me that some birds sing just for the hell of it.

  4. another common moth that wears regal clothing is the Ermine

  5. by the way, Ive been walking through cornish woods this weekend, and there were a fair few elephant hawkmoth caterpillars to be seen on the seried ranks of willowherb along the path - ranging in size from a matchbox in length all the way up to big brusiers about the size of a hamlet cigar. Hopefully they'll avoid the birds long enough to turn into a beautiful moth like the one pictured above!

  6. This is done using techniques such as hydrotherapy,
    remedial exercise, Mississauga style massage, rhythmic mobilizations,
    laser therapy and myofascial therapy. X-rays and an MRI
    are recommended to be sure there's nothing more significant going on, like a herniated vertebral disc, or a fractured vertebra. The school or university should have what is called the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).
    my site: nice guidelines depression summary