Species Account

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Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: Local

Local Status: Scarce and thinly distributed or restricted resident.

Local Record: Grade 1   See here for explanation

Flight time: One generation, May-Jul.

Forewing: 21-25mm.

Foodplant: Bedstraws.

Regional breakdown:

Year first recorded18591883188319501985
Year last recorded20142014201420142014
Number of records1437519319227
Number of individuals14310426024363
Unique positions4530646313
Unique locations4527646211
Adult records1417318018024
Immature records00011

For the county, we have a total of 630 records from 209 sites. First recorded in 1859.


69.017 Small Elephant Hawk-moth 07
© Andy Nunn
69.017 Small Elephant Hawk-moth 06
© Nancy Stedman
69.017 Small Elephant Hawk-moth 05
© Tony Moverley, 4 Jun 2015
69.017 Small Elephant Hawk-moth 04
© Damian Money
69.017 Small Elephant Hawk-moth 03
© Ian Andrews
69.017 Small Elephant Hawk-moth 02
© Damian Money
69.017 Small Elephant Hawk-moth 01
© Damian Money

Species Account

Sutton & Beaumont, 1989: This species seems to have a very uneven distribution in the County. Although quite common in some areas of VC63, it disappeared from one suburb of Rotherham in the 1940s, at about the same time as the previous species was first noticed in the area (Barringer & Ely, 1979). It has also declined in the Sheffield area (Garland, 1979) but increased around Huddersfield (LL-E; JRB). Currently it is more common than formerly in the Leeds and Harrogate areas, but has never been seen at Colton, not far to the west of York (JP). Elsewhere the situation seems more stable, with a small resident population along the south of the North York Moors and in east VC61 (PQW). It seems rare in north VC62 and there is no VC65 record.

Argus 47, 2001-04: There has been a general increase in records recently, but none has been received from VC62.
VC65. High Batts NR, 7.7.1985 (SPW). NEW VICE-COUNTY RECORD.

2012 (CHF): The distribution of this species is still more patchy than Elephant Hawk-moth and we receive far fewer records. It can be locally common for example 18 at Marne Barracks on 6.6.2008 and there are good populations in Wharfedale, Calderdale and the east of VC62.

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