Smerinthus ocellata L Eyed hawk moth

This species is occasionally a minor problem on young apple trees. The larvae defoliate the shoots and can have a marked adverse effect on the growth of young trees. Attacks on older trees are of little or no importance.


Moths occur from May to July. Eggs are laid singly or in small groups on the leaves of host plants, and they hatch 2-3 weeks later. The larvae feed on the leaves from June to September and then enter the soil to pupate. Under favourable conditions a partial second generation of adults emerges in the late summer but most do not appear until the following year.


Adult 75-85 mm wingspan; forewings greyish-brown to chocolate-brown, with pinkish-grey markings; hindwings brown to reddish, with a large blue, grey and black, eye-like mark. Larva up to 70 mm long green; body speckled with white, seven oblique whitish or yellowish stripes along each side; spiracles white, with red rims; posterior horn bluish.

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