Silver-striped Hawk-moth Sphingidae

Hippotion celerio (Linnaeus, 1758)

Description: Wingspan 72-80mm. Adults are light ochreous brown with two white lateral stripes at the side of the thorax. The forewings are ochreous brown, with a white basal streak and line that runs towards the apex; fine white lines near the outer margin. The hindwings are pinkish red at the basal area, with two darkish bands that are pale white in between.

Similar Species: This is an attractive and striking insect, similar in appearance to the Striped Hawk-moth H. livornica, but seldom encountered outside the continent.

Key Identification Features:

Sets:  male upperside

Flight Period: Normally flies in spring and again in the autumn on the continent. The vast majority of records in Britain are of adults taken at light from late summer until early autumn.

Status: A very rare immigrant to Britain and Ireland and seldom encountered in any numbers. In N. Ireland it has been recorded once in Belfast on 28 November 1938. The specimen is in the Ulster Museum. The recorder is unknown. There are only 2 other Irish records from Sligo and Dublin around the late 19th century.

Ecology: Adults are capable of long and sustained flights over great distances. The larvae have in the past been reported in Britain, but are unlikely ever to reach maturity in the wild. The larval foodplants are bedstraw Galium spp., willowherb Epilobium spp. and fuchsia Fuchsia spp.

World Distribution: Across southern Palaearctic.

Bradley & Fletcher number: 1993 Agassiz number: 69.018

Additional information:

UK Moths account

Caterpillar: 

 Thompson, R. S. & Nelson, B., 2003 (Oct 2). [In] The Butterflies and Moths of Northern Ireland
http://www.ulstermuseum.org.uk/lepidoptera/species.asp?item=6079

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