Lepidoptera The Eyed Hawk Moth – Smerinthus Ocellatus

Our next genus (Smerinthus) contains three well-known moths, all of which have the hind margin of the fore wings angulated or indented.

The first is the Eyed Hawk, represented in fig. 4 of Moth PhotoPlate IX and named after the beautiful and conspicuous eye-like spot near the anal angle of each hind wing.

The caterpillar has a rough green skin, sprinkled with white dots, and marked with seven oblique white lines on each side, each of which is bordered with dark green above. The spiracles are pinkish, surrounded by violet rings; and the horn is blue.

The moth flies during May, June, and July; and the caterpillar may be found in plenty during August, feeding on the apple, willow (Salix alba), sallow (S. cinerea and S. Caprea), poplar (Populus alba and P. nigra), aspen (P. tremula), and the blackthorn (Prunus spinosa).

As with many other Sphinges, the larva are much more commonly seen than the perfect insects; but the latter may often be met with resting on tree trunks and fences in the neighbourhood of their food plants.