It has been an epic year for the convolvulus hawkmoth, with dozens sighted for the first time
Summer butterflies have just about disappeared in the autumn rains. But there’s always an autumnal surprise when rare butterflies – and moths – are blown on to our shores.
My mother recently sent me a photo of a hefty moth resting on washing drying on her line. To our amazement it was a convolvulus hawkmoth, a rare migrant usually spotted in gardens close to the south and east coast (Mum is half-a-mile from the sea). This striking insect has an unusually long proboscis so it can feed – like a miniature hummingbird – on tubular flowers such as petunia and tobacco plants unreachable to other moths.