- Sphinx ocellata Linnaeus, 1758
- Smerinthus ocellata (Linnaeus, 1758)
No status defined
Value of species
The name Smerinthus is apparently derived from the Greek feminine noun 'Merinthos', but has been Latinised with the masculine -us ending and is thus, according to the ICZN article 30.1.3, masculine. As the ICZN rules that species names that are adjectives should agree in gender with the genus name, the common use of Smerinthus ocellata for this species is incorrect.
Very similar in appearance to the other two western Palaearctic Smerinthus species, Smerinthus caecus and Smerinthus kindermannii but differentiated by an apical thorn on the foretibia, and the large, circular hindwing ocellus.The upperside forewings are marked in light and dark shades of brown and resemble the coloring of bark. The hindwings are pink coloured basally and then a yellow ochre.The hindwings are dominated by a large, blue, dark-centered and black-rimmed eyespot. The thorax has light brown sides and dark brown hairs in the middle.In addition to variations in the density of the forewing pattern intensity, differences in colour are also found on the hindwing. In f. flavescens Neumann hindwing pink is replaced by yellow in f. pallida Tutt by grey and in f. albescens Tutt. In f. rosea Bartel, the pink is deep and the forewings are yellowish brown; in f. ollivryi Oberthür, the ocellus is replaced by a buff brown patch. The adult moth has a wingspan of 70–80 millimetres (2.8–3.1 in).
The larva is pale bluish or yellowish green with small white-tipped tubercules and a grey-blue tail horn. The sides are striped white or yellow and the spiracles are white ringed with dark red. The larvae grow to about 80 mm. The larval foodplants are various species of Salix, Populus and Malus.
The pupa is glossy reddish-brown, and is formed below the soil surface in late summer, where it overwinters. The adults emerge the following summer in May or June.