Identify It > Moth Section > Convolvulus Hawkmoths >
Scientific name: Agrius convolvuli
Size: Wingspan up to 120mm
Distribution: Can be found throughout the UK
Months seen: June to December. The majority are seen in late summer
Life span: Adult moths can live for up to 5 weeks
Habitat: Farms, parks, gardens etc.
Food: Nectar. The larvae feed on bindweed
Special features: Convolvulus hawk-moths migrate here from North Africa in late summer. They are one of the largest, if not the largest, moths found in the UK.
They have light grey wings, marbled with darker streaks. The male has darker markings compared to the female. The abdomen has a grey dorsal stripe and pink and black bands along the full length.
Convolvulus hawk-moths normally fly at dusk and dawn. They have large compound eyes which help them to find their preferred flowers in very low light. Usually they make a beeline for tubular flowers and they are equipped with an extremely long proboscis (tongue) to reach the nectar at the base of these flowers. The Tobacco plant (Nicotiana sylvestris) is a favourite.
If you're lucky, you might find one during the daytime resting on a tree trunk (where they are well camouflaged). Try to pick it up a Convolvulus Hawk-moth and you will discover they have painfully sharp spines on their legs which they use to grip!
The larvae of Convolvulus hawkmoths feed on bindweeds which have the Latin name 'Convolvulaceae' - hence the name given to these impressively large moths.