This magnificent, if sadly dead, elephant hawkmoth was found at work today, and given to me; my interest in nature is becoming more widely known, although my intention to take a dead moth home raised a few eyebrows above polyester collars.
I wish I could see one of these beauties alive, they are common enough round here, and the imago's nectar sources - garden flowers like honeysuckle and petunias - are found in plenty of urban gardens. They are night flyers, and this specimen no doubt had been drawn to lights of my workplace, come in through the large open doors and then got trapped. A small tortoiseshell butterfly suffered the same fate in the day, and I was unable to rescue it.
So without further ado, I present my photographs of the moth. The inverted shots remind me, rather daftly, of the small bugs from "Starship Troopers", such an overactive imagination I sometimes have!
I wish it could have been a live one, and hopefully when I have a go at some rudimentary moth trapping. perhaps the next one will be.
PS - "Imago" is the posh way of saying "adult moth or butterfly". But if I want to make a future in this kind of writing, I'd best use posh words!