Mighty Oleander Hawk Moth
Moths are up there with spiders and locusts when it comes to my unease of them. My fear of spiders is totally irrational, but it’s something that if I focus (and don’t turn my back on it) I can overcome.
My unease around moths, locusts and grasshoppers stems from their erratic and unpredictable movement. So you can imagine my initial horror when an unidentifiable shadow on our bedroom wall turned out to be this mighty oleander hawk moth! I only noticed it in the early morning half-light as I was drying off after a shower. At first, I didn’t take too much notice, I have no idea why as it was a definite shadow on the wall.
When it occurred to me that the shadow really shouldn’t be there I took a closer look… And froze… I had shared the night hours with a moth the size of a small fighter jet. It was massive (I kid you not). It’s a good job oleander hawkmoths don’t prey on small dogs… Or do they? I have no idea! Maybe sleeping under the bed isn’t such a daft idea, after all, Alphie!
Of course, the next thought was where’s my camera before I realised that it was too dark to get a photo (I don’t like flash photography). But my husband was sleeping and I had to go to work. Maybe it wasn’t meant to be!
Oh, but it was!… When I got home from work the bedroom was still closed up (only mad dogs and Englishmen open up the house during the day in this heat and luckily my husband is South African).
So What Did I Do?
I grabbed my camera, of course!… And opened up the shutters in the bedroom to let light in (that’s the English blood in me coming out).
I was happy to see that the mighty oleander moth hadn’t moved a wing. After several attempts at taking a photo whilst balanced on a ladder (the things we do to get photos), all the while being very aware that if the moth moved a nasty accident was likely to occur, I wasn’t happy, so I asked the husband to carefully move it.
My heart was pounding as he carefully slipped a sheet of very strong paper under Mr Moth, but the moth didn’t move. To be able to see it up close was quite fascinating.
My Sunday Photo
From wing tip to wing tip was around four inches and the body was the size of a not so small mouse. It’s not a surprise to know that the oleander hawk moth is also known as a green army moth too. Just look at those markings!
Oleander hawk moths actually migrate across Europe and Africa. Looking at it from this angle you can see the aerodynamics, this creature is built to fly… Luckily not whilst it was sharing a room with me!
This may not be the best photo as I cropped right in on the top photo, but I had to show you the velvet-like covering on its fat body. I almost got the urge to stroke it, but one movement from the creature and I would have died.
After our little photo shoot, he was put safely outside and as I shut the bedroom back up I saw him getting ready to fly off. Now that I did not want to see. It’s the things my nightmares are made of!
Have you seen one of these magnificent moths before?
© 2018, Debbie. All rights reserved.