Warm air blows in some rare visi­tors

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Kent Business Update - By Owen Leyshon of the Rom­ney Marsh Coun­try­side Part­ner­ship

Another ex­cit­ing moth species which ap­peared on Dun­geness in re­cent weeks has been a bed­straw hawk moth. In this coun­try we have a num­ber of hawk moth species. Some, like the ele­phant hawk moth, are fa­mil­iar to gar­den­ers as the large brown cater­pil­lars that eat fuch­sia and wil­lowherb. The cater­pil­lars tend to wan­der around the gar­dens in Septem­ber look­ing for soft ground to pu­pate in.

Bed­straw hawk moths are roughly the same size but far rarer. They have a cream band on the wings and lack the vivid pink of the ele­phant hawk.

If the wind and the weather is com­ing from across the near con­ti­nent, and es­pe­cially if warm air is com­ing up from the Mediter­ranean re­gions, moths like bed­straw hawk moths can turn up any­where and, to a de­gree, at any time through the spring, sum­mer and au­tumn.

The cater­pil­lars are large, with a hook on the back, but are dark with big spots down the side of the body. The bed­straw hawk moth cater­pil­lars feed on bed­straw species and wil­lowherb species.

This au­tumn keep an eye out for any hawk moth species and send me a pic­ture if you wish.

For more in­for­ma­tion con­tact Owen Leyshon, Rom­ney Marsh Coun­try­side Part­ner­ship, tele­phone 01797 367934 or log on to www.rmcp.co.uk

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