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moth Lime Hawk-moths

Identify It >   Moth Section >   Lime Hawk-moths >

Scientific name:  Mimas tiliae

Size:  Wingspan up to 80mm

Distribution:  Found in England (mostly in the south) and Wales.  Absent from Scotland and Ireland

Months seen:  May and June

Life span:  Adult moths can live for up to 5 weeks

Habitat:  As the name suggests they are normally found close to lime trees.  Frequently found in gardens

Food:  Does not feed as an adult moth.  The yellow-green coloured caterpillars feed at night on lime tree leaves

Special features:  Adult Lime Hawk-moths vary in colour from light pink to red-brown with a darker patch in the centre of each forewing.  This varies in size and colour from to olive-green to brown.  The wings of Lime Hawk-moths have a distinctive, ragged cutout on the tail edge which help them to stay hidden amongst foliage.

The larvae of Lime Hawk-moths are also variable in colour.  When they first hatch they are green with oblique yellow stripes along each side, a red-brown horn at the tail end.  As they mature they become a pinkish-grey or a bluish-grey with a bright blue horn.  Just before pupation they turn a purple colour.  Larvae can be found from June to September.

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