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Daily Deviation
Daily Deviation
June 7, 2012
Elephant Hawk Moth Portrait by ~Sarahorsomeone
Featured by hellfirediva
Suggested by LadyxWinter
Sarahorsomeone's avatar

Elephant Hawk Moth Portrait

A face-on macro photograph of an Elephant Hawk Moth (Deilephila elpenor).

His name is Eric if anyone is interested. I got him as a caterpillar last year, I overwintered him as a pupa and this morning he emerged as a moth. Providing it's not tipping down with rain I'll release him this evening.

EDIT: Thanks so much for the Daily Deviation! Thanks also to everyone for all the lovely comments and the favourites; I can't reply to everyone individually but rest assured I have read every comment and really appreciate it. I'm just making an attempt to reply to people with specific questions at the moment.

FAQ (because I'm struggling to keep up with all the messages I've had since this was made a DD)

Is this really his natural colour?

Yes, elephant hawk moths are actually pink and green (the colour shown). This colour allows them to blend in with the leaves and buds of honeysuckle (the favourite food plant of the adult moths, they drink the nectar).

I shoot all my photographs in RAW so I have to choose saturation level as part of processing the RAW file into a JPEG, but I tried to keep the colours true to life.

Why is he called Eric?

1. He was named after Eric Carle, the man who wrote and illustrated "The Very Hungry Caterpillar".
2. Eric starts with an E for elephant hawk moth.
3. I thought it would be amusing to give a caterpillar a human-sounding name (and he needed a name because 'my elephant hawk moth caterpillar' was somewhat of a mouthful)

Why are elephant hawk moths called elephant hawk moths?

He might not look like an elephant now, but the caterpillars have a trunk-like mouth, and that's how the moth gets its name.

What parts of the world are they found in?

Well this one is from England, but according to Wikipedia: "The species is found throughout Britain and Ireland. Its range extends across Europe, Russia, and into China, northern parts of the Indian subcontinent, Japan and Korea (though not Taiwan). Introduced specimens have been found in British Columbia." Wikipedia page here: [link]
Image details
Image size
2592x2600px 986.74 KB
Canon EOS 1000D
Shutter Speed
1/60 second
Focal Length
60 mm
ISO Speed
Date Taken
Jun 5, 2012, 11:11:25 AM
Sensor Size
© 2012 - 2021 Sarahorsomeone
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SaraWolfPhotographer's avatar
Great story and photo.  I hope Eric found a mate and there are thousands of his/her offspring. Well done for keeping him over the Winter to the point of his beautiful emergence as a moth x
S3cRt's avatar
Wow just wow :D
EvelineDaw's avatar
What a beautiful creature! :la:
Echo-Peak's avatar
I love this picHug ! Elephant Hawk Moths are actually one of my favourite animals because it's so fab! Screw camouflage, they exist to attract attentionLove  !
Sajankc143's avatar
Stunning Elephant Hawk Moth! :)
Chinry's avatar
My friend hatched one of these herself. We've no idea how he ended up in our (mostly concrete) garden but as he was still a squishy caterpillar she took him in, fed him and house him. Next thing we know he's pupated. Eventually out he popped, a little too early, but she had to let him go. It was amazing to see such a bright moth here in suburban England. 
ArtisticNaz's avatar
WAOH ! Freaking love this !!
livingtr4sh's avatar
I am legitimately afraid of moths
ZackRlap's avatar
Oh, ive seen 2 diffrent kinds
PenciltipWorkshop's avatar
Fly away, my evil akuma, and evilize a moody and impressionable teenager!!!
iconkid's avatar
Looks like a stealth fighter jet -- with ray guns.  Amazing how much design thought we get from nature.
Marbletism's avatar
:0 crazy awesome
bear48's avatar
Matt-Campbell's avatar
bear48's avatar
DinoDilopho's avatar
I will call him.... MOSSY!!!
CanelaRose's avatar
Wow, what a stunning moth!
MangleOrchid's avatar
So pretty, awesome photo
Astra321123's avatar
I remember, when i saw this moth in grass in middle of a day. I had no idea what it was, but i simply fell in love with it, it looked so adorable and fluffy! :D
Loumun-Versen's avatar
Ow, that's a great coincidence, I found one of those unexpected creatures on my mailbox just yesterday night while coming back from on party x) I didn't know how they were called and I though it looked like a Moro Sphynx at first but I quickly saw it was one, considering I only saw Moro in the South while I'm living in the North of France.

Great picture, I love the head of those big moth, it's cute! >w<
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