|Actually it's rather cute!|
|Shown against Tim's finger gives a scale to the beasty!|
Consultation of the "oracle" (Michael Chinery) identified it as proserpinus proserpina, a species lacking an English common name but whose French name, Sphinx de l'épilobe, translates as the willowherb hawk moth. It also feeds on evening primrose and purple loosestrife, and has been identified as a pollinator of the greater butterfly orchid, platanthera chlorantha. The INPN web site informs us that this is a regulated species on the Red List of insect species for France. The Inventaire National du Patrimoine Naturel only has three records for Indre-et-Loire. Since its home had already been destroyed by accident, we placed it on a molehill in the meadow by some willowherb plants in the hope that it will be able to bury itself again if it so prefers, with its food species nearby but out of reach of large bipeds with gardening forks.
|Back on the ground, "scales" showing up nicely.|
|Another side view... showing the tail end.|
|The catterpillar getting an advanced look at what it will become.|