Rare moth in English garden

This video says about itself:

This is footage of a couple of oleander hawk moths emerging from their cocoons. Found the caterpillars while cutting back our oleander bushes. Did a little research into what they were and decided to put a few in a box to see what happened. Watched them feed, shed skin, cocoon and then managed to see these ones emerge about a couple of weeks later. These are very beautiful moths, and quite large. We measured one with a wing span of 11cm. That to me is a big moth. Was very interesting to see it change from a caterpillar through all the different stages it went through into a fabulous moth.

From Wildlife Extra:

Very rare moth spotted in a Gloucestershire garden

One of the UK’s rarest and most spectacular moths has been spotted in a Gloucestershire garden – the first time it has been seen in the county for eight years, wildlife charity Butterfly Conservation (BC) has revealed.

BC Gloucestershire Branch has only ever received five records of the moth being seen in the county, with the last in 2006.

The oleander hawk-moth was recently recorded in the Cotswolds by Jean Booth, who found it near to her tobacco flowers – a known food plant of the giant moth.

The moth can be identified by the swirling cream and pinkish-brown markings on its green coloured forewing. A white band across the front end of its abdomen is also distinctive.

BC Gloucestershire Branch member Mrs Booth from Gretton near Winchcombe, said: “When I saw this great big moth by the plants I knew it was a hawk-moth, but it wasn’t one I’d seen before so I had to go and check my books.

“When I realised it was an oleander, all I could think was ‘Wow’! It was so big and had the most beautiful markings. I’ve only been recording moths for just over a year and still can’t believe this rare migrant made its way to my garden.”

There have been very few recent sightings of the oleander hawk-moth in the UK as it breeds abroad in very warm, open places.

If it does make its way over here, it is often to southern England between August and October. The most reported in any one year was in 1953 when a total of 13 were seen.

The wildlife charity’s Head of Moth Conservation, Mark Parsons, says it was a wonderful find: “This large and striking moth is rarely encountered in this country and is not seen every year. This individual probably originates from North Africa, which has perfect breeding conditions for this species. Jean was extremely lucky to see one of these magnificent moths, as most recorders never see one during a lifetime of recording.”

Anyone interested in taking up mothing or finding out more about Gloucestershire’s moths, are invited to join a special event taking place in Coleford on Friday 19 September. Find out more by visiting www.gloucestershire-butterflies.org.uk.

6 thoughts on “Rare moth in English garden

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