I took a dozen photos of this large hawk moth in my parents' garden and it was most co-operative and obliging. It took me quite some time to realise why. Can you see what has happened?
The eagle eyed and entomologically informed European reader will also have noticed that I am posting what looks like a European moth on Sunday, when our blog posts have an Australian theme (and I've already indicated that these photos were taken in my parents' garden). What's going on?
Well, the moth is a Convolvulus Hawk Moth Agrius convolvuli and the species has a distribution that includes more or less everywhere except the Americas, so it is at home in Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia. They are quite abundant, and we have had one in the garden in Preuilly in the past.
The flower it is on is an Australian native called Murray Lily Crinum flaccidum, related to belladonna, hippeastrums, amaryllis, daffodils and snowdrops, a large tubular flower perfect for the exceptionally long tongued moth -- except when they hide a predator such as this one did.