The Oldie

Convolvulu­s hawk moth

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I wanted to picture one immigrant moth; these are moths that visit our shores under their own steam, rather than on imported plants, but do not usually breed. I was tempted boastfully to post the very rare great dart moth, which I was thrilled to find in my trap last season; but the commoner convolvulu­s hawk moth is more spectacula­r. It is huge, with a four-inch wingspan. I plant Nicotiana flowers next to my moth trap specifical­ly to attract it: it will hover to drink the nectar with its long proboscis. Its larvae feed on bindweed, but it never seems to establish breeding colonies in this country.

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