This one was found in the woods of northern Poland. It was about 5 cm long and crawling pretty dynamically. For me it seemed a little too big for a butterfly larva.


What is it called?

  • $\begingroup$ Also, (commenting since I don't think this is part of the main question, just the uncertainty in the title) I don't think you can confuse this kind of larva with anything that is not an insect. Possibly a snake, I guess (maybe that's what it's trying to look like) but you can tell it's got little "legs" on the abdomen. $\endgroup$ – picapica Jul 31 '16 at 22:36
  • $\begingroup$ As I've written in the post, for me it seemed a bit too big for a larva and I did not see the "legs". And, since I am not a specialist in this matter, had exactly the snake association. Thanks for quick reply! $\endgroup$ – lukasz Aug 1 '16 at 8:25
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    $\begingroup$ I don't know, why but this insect is very cuteeeeeee. :) $\endgroup$ – A---B Aug 1 '16 at 9:16

It's an elephant hawk-moth, Deilephila elpenor. Here is an image from Wikipedia to compare with:

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    $\begingroup$ Agreed; that's definitely it. Since OP saw it in Poland I don't know if a (British) 20p will be helpful for scale; for non-UK readers, the coin is 21.4mm in diameter so size is spot-on. $\endgroup$ – arboviral Jul 31 '16 at 22:05

I think it is the larva of the sphinx purple butterfly.



Size of the larva is arround 70 mm

  • $\begingroup$ I haven't heard it called that before but from the photo it sounds like this is an alternative common name for Deilephila elpenor. Nice photos! $\endgroup$ – arboviral Aug 1 '16 at 11:47

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