Lepidoptera The Lime Hawk Moth – Smerinthus Tilia

This beautiful moth (fig. 5, Moth PhotoPlate IX) is easily identified by its rich olive green and brown wings, the fore pair of which have very conspicuous patches of deep olive, sometimes uniting to form a continuous central bar. It flies in May and June.

The caterpillar is rough, of a pale green colour, dotted with yellow, with seven oblique yellow stripes on each side. Thus it is very like the larva of Populi, but may be distinguished from that species by the orange spiracles, and by the horn, which is rough, blue above, and yellow beneath. Behind the horn, too, there is a flat purple or violet scale with an edging of orange.

The food plants of this species are the lime (Tilia vulgaris), elm (Ulmus campestris), and the hazel (Corylus Avellana), from which the larva may be beaten in August and September, and from under these the pupa may be dug out during the winter months.