Seen as I didn't receive any complaints about the Latin titled blog posts I'm going to continue with a post about Deilephila elpenor; more commonly known as the Elephant Hawk Moth.
As you can see from the photo today's post is actually about the caterpillar rather than the adult moth. If you want to see what the adult looks like then you can see a dead specimen in one of my previous blog posts.
Last Saturday was the 140th Penistone Agricultural Show and while taking the scenic route from our house to the show ground, along the old railway line, we passed a large group of willowherb plants which were covered in Elephant Hawk Moth caterpillars; so of course I stopped to take lots of photos.
Unlike many moths the Elephant Hawk Moth gets it's name from the caterpillar instead of the adult moth. This photo doesn't show the elephants trunk particularly well but you can see that the caterpillar has a pointy nose (bottom of the photo) which supposedly resembles an elephants trunk. When threatened the caterpillar retracts the trunk like portion into it's body which apparently makes it look like a snake with a large head and four eyes; the one at the back is in this pose.