|Death's Head Hawk Moth|
|Hawk Moth Caterpillar|
The picture to the right is of a fully grown Hawk moth caterpillar I took in North Weald Essex. It was on an Ash tree although they will usually be found on Willow or Lime. There is a species called Lime Hawk Moth.
Hawkmoths became one of the creatures used as evidence in Darwin's theory coevolution. In 1862 Darwin saw a Madagascan Star Orchid that's flower produces nectar at the bottom of a very long thin throat. Darwin predicted the existence of an insect capable of pollinating this flower thus supporting the theory of coevolution. No insect was known of at the time but around 40 years later in 1902 two biologists named a giant Hawkmoth that had an extra long proboscis (tongue) capable of pollinating The Star Orchid. It's Proboscis was around 20cm long and powered by blood being pumped through it. There are 1500 plus species of Hawkmoth and they can be catergorised by the pattern in which veins run through their wings. They may be spotted all over London!