This beautiful creature is classified as 'common' but is seldom seen by the average Brit, other than in newspaper articles about Natural Wonders where it understandably makes regular appearances as an example of deterrent camouflage, as below - an imaginative comparison with a fox from the Sunday Telegraph which I posted about two years ago.
Mmm... Could be a Poplar Hawk?
Indeed, I had to encourage it to give me a wink, as shown below. It was so sound asleep that my nudges had no other effect. It was only later, when I tried to shake it off the box into the safety of a thick nettlebed, that I was treated to the the full Princess Diana look. I hastily brought back the box, to which it was still clinging, for a second photo sesh.
Winking one way...
|...then the other|
|And now we're waking up; albeit not quite ready to move the forewings fully forward for the full pink glow|
Another feature of this handsome insect is a modern, Mohican-style haircut, almost exactly the same as that sported by a man in Oxford Marks & Sparks who sold me a new pair of trousers yesterday.
I am, however, starting to stray from the subject of moths, so will leave you with a final picture of my handsome guest. This is the second hawkmoth to visit us in our new surroundings. To equal Leeds, however, Oxfordshire still has to come up with Lime and Elephant Hawks.