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Medium wine hawk moth

Beneficiaries of introduced plants and a wonderfully colourful moth is the Middle Vine Hawk-moth (Deilephila elpenor)When darkness falls, it flutters from flower to flower, just as hummingbird hawk-moths do during the day.
It can be seen flying from mid-May to around the beginning of July. It prefers moist areas where fireweed grows, as the caterpillars like to feed on them. The colour is independent of age; there is a brown colour variant (approx. 50%) and a green one (30%). The rest is intermediate.

Thanks to its love of fuchsias, which are often cultivated as potted and tub plants, the butterfly has been able to conquer residential areas very successfully. Since fuchsias have gone out of fashion, populations in residential areas have declined somewhat, but the species still finds plenty of suitable egg-laying plants in the open countryside in the form of willowherb and Himalayan balsam (Impatiens species).












The caterpillars of the hawk moth only feed at night and remain undiscovered for a long time. To protect themselves, they have an ingenious strategy: to give the impression of a dangerous animal, the caterpillar pulls in its head. The two pairs of eyes on the sides make it look much larger. The caterpillar also moves its upper body back and forth to look like a snake about to attack. Predators are frightened and leave their prey alone.

When the flowers of the wood honeysuckle open along the edge of the forest in the Dingden Heath in June, they begin to emit an intense scent at dusk to attract their nocturnal pollinators. One of the typical flower visitors is the magnificent vine hawk moth, which can often be seen sucking on the flowers in the twilight. Similar to the diurnal hummingbird hawk moth, the butterflies stand in front of the flower heads and sink their long proboscis into the flower tubes.

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Naturpark High mark
Tourist Info in NaturparkhouseTiergarten Schloss Raesfeld
Tiergarten 1
46348 Raesfeld
Phone: 02865 – 609110