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Elephant Hawk Moth

By brian1208
I wasn't sure if this should be in "Wildlife" or "Captive animals" as it was hatched indoors.

My neighbour found several of these chrysalis when he was clearing his garden. He hatched one indoors and knowing I was a bug freak gave me one to hatch.

I had hoped to record the entire hatching sequence and got some shots of the (mobile) chrysalis last night.

As nature always has the last laugh it hatched overnight and when I found it this morning it was already in this state, with the wings nearly fully inflated.

I took a few shots then released it back into the garden, making sure it was in a well protected space hidden from birds etc.

Its the first one I've seen - magical aren't they

Tags: Dorset Garden Lepidoptera Close-up and macro Deilephila elpenor Night flying Hatching Pets and captive animals Wildlife and nature

Voters: gerrym, hobbs, jeanie and 27 more

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Ade_Osman 16 4.5k 36 England
5 Jun 2006 2:36AM
Blown away by the quality on this Brian, like the story even more.....Any chance of getting a couple for me? Smile
Interesting to see you using a convertor, can I ask why? Only I have a tendancy to use extension tubes and have never used a convertor because of the loss of light issues....etc.


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mattw 15 5.2k 10 United Kingdom
5 Jun 2006 2:41AM
Superb Brian, what wonderful colours
brian1208 16 11.6k 12 United Kingdom
5 Jun 2006 2:46AM
Thanks Ade and Matt.

Ade - like you I always used to stick with tubes. I got the converter for use with my 70-300 IS and one day stuck it on the Tamron as an experiment. Its stayed there ever since!

The loss of light doesn't seem to give me any problems and there appears to be no visible degradation of image quality. The extra reach is helpful with some of the more "twitchy" insects. In addition, I gain 0.4 times on magnification for the same lens to subject distance and I can still add extension tubes if I want to get any more.

I don't know how the PO would appreciate "Live Chrysalis in Transit" stickers on the mail Ade ? Smile

What is strange is that my neighbour reckons he finds these every year but neither of us have seen the moth in our gardens - most odd.
fishiee 15 478 3 United Kingdom
5 Jun 2006 3:00AM
Lovely shot brian and super detail!

I trap these each summer at night for daytime photography. They really are quite special to see. Get loads of the moths but never seen one caterpillar. Maybe they all migrate here from Dorset for the summer Smile

Regardinbg postage I know several people who buy quite exotic species from overseas which are posted either as eggs or pupae. They breed them but it's a great way to get to photograph the exotic species and I am am tempted to try this if they are able to breed and lead a full life in captivity.

I currently have a couple of emperor moth pupae (Native) that came to me in the post as caterpillars!
StevieH 14 1
5 Jun 2006 3:22AM
Fabulous quality - great shot
jaglin 15 6
5 Jun 2006 3:54AM
Blyme! Never seen anything like it!
fossilized 15 79 United Kingdom
5 Jun 2006 4:03AM
Lovely detail on this - such exotic looking creatures.
jimbo_t 16 959 England
5 Jun 2006 4:41AM
Looks great, nicely taken.
Greyheron 17 282 7 England
5 Jun 2006 6:57AM
Superb work Brian...what a buzz eh!!!

SoupyD 13
5 Jun 2006 7:37AM
wow...this image is superb but with the extra info to give context...all I can say is well done, I bow before you Smile
bill c 15 1 England
5 Jun 2006 9:05AM
Wonderful, colourful insect. Super image, well taken!!

brian1208 16 11.6k 12 United Kingdom
5 Jun 2006 10:24AM
Thanks for the extra comments.

John - interesting information, I hadn't realised that. What sort of trap do you use, light behind a sheet or something more sophisticated?
naturenut 16 1.8k England
5 Jun 2006 10:52PM
Superb shot Brian, I will be looking out for them now as I had caterpillars eating all my fushias last summer ! The caterpillars are striking to look at too. Well done.
brian1208 16 11.6k 12 United Kingdom
6 Jun 2006 9:39AM
thanks Maragaret, I had a look at your caterpillar, very impressive aren't they
draxwayze 16 74
16 Jun 2006 6:12AM
Great close-up of this moth, and from an unusual angle. Another grand shot Brian.

The moths come readily to mercury vapour light at this time of year. Their main foodplant is 'Fireweed' or Rosebay Willow herb. Caterpillars feed mostly at night, and hide low down at the base of the plants in the daytime. And yes, they do sometimes eat fuchsia leaves.
brian1208 16 11.6k 12 United Kingdom
19 Jun 2006 2:18PM
thanks John

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