Poplar Hawk-moth (Laothoe populi)

armadillozenith

Dunfermline, United Kingdom

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Artist's Description

I met this strange and lovely creature in the pedestrian underpass at Dunfermline Town railway station.

It’s holding onto a brick which gives an idea of its size; I was told it had been there all day. Possibly it had originally been attracted there by night, by the fluorescent light in the underpass.

It seemed quite unearthly; I have never seen such a large moth before in the wild (wingspan just under 4inches/10cm), nor one so striking in appearance.

On reaching home I checked the slim volume ‘Hawk-Moths of the British Isles’ by Michael Easterbrook which I have on a bookshelf, and there found my moth was the cover-illustration; enabling me to identify it. It’s funny that it struck me as so strange-looking, when I’ve had its picture on my bookshelf for years!

Dunfermline Town railway station underpass, Fife, Scotland.
Evening, around 8pm BST, Sunday 5th July 2009.

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