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Wine lovers

This insect (also called vine bird) belongs to the genus of the night owl butterflies. The caterpillars of certain species can appear as vine pests on a small scale. The caterpillars of the species widespread in Europe, the middle vine moth (Deilephila elpenor) and the small vine moth (Deilephila porcellus), feed mainly on willowherbs. The Great Vine Hawk-moth (Hippotion celerio) with a wing span of about 6 to 7 centimetres lives mainly in tropical Africa, Asia and Australia and sometimes flies into southern Europe in late summer. It is rarely found in Central Europe, the last flight was observed in Saxony in 1967. The females lay their eggs one by one on the upper and lower side of the leaves of vines, from which the German name is derived. The caterpillars, which are found in brown and green varieties, reach a body length of 8 to 9 centimetres. Typical is the relatively long anal horn, which turns blackish in the last caterpillar stage. In the second caterpillar stage the dark eye spots appear for the first time. The caterpillar feeding is characterized by leaves that are half eaten. See also under vine enemies.

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