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Lime Hawk Moth (Mimas tiliae)

The lime hawk moth is a member of the family of hawk moths. Swedish zoologist Carl Linnaeus first described the species in the 10th edition of his book Systema Naturae in 1758.

Lime Hawk Moth

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Scientific Classification


  • Family: Sphingidae
  • Genus: Mimas
  • Scientific Name: Mimas tiliae

Description and Identification

Caterpillar

They are green, with yellow stripes and a blue horn at the posterior end. When matured and ready for pupation, they become dull grayish or purplish brown.

Lime Hawk Moth Caterpillar

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Lime Hawk Moth Larva

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Pupa

After maturing, the larvae pupate in the soil at the base of the host plant.

Lime Hawk Moth Pupae

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Adult Moth

Sexual Dimorphism: Present.

The base color of the forewings is green in males and brown in females. Moreover, the males also have slender and strongly curved abdomen, while the females are fat and straight, mainly filled with eggs.

Color and Appearance

Forewing: When opened, they are pink or buff darker near the inner angle, with either one or two brown or green blotches running across, sometimes merging into a band at the forewing’s center. When closed, the patterns remain the same but are less visible.

Hindwing: When they are opened, they are plain without much patterns, appearing either gray or buff-brown. When closed, they remain unaltered.

Average wingspan: 46-78mm

Flight pattern: Consistent

Season: May – July

Lime Hawk Moth Male

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Egg

The pale green eggs are laid near the host plant. They hatch within 7-10 days.

Lime Hawk Moth Eggs

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Quick Facts

DistributionEurope; mainly England, mostly found in London, but has also spread to the northern parts of Britain, inhabiting northern Yorkshire, and also areas beyond it
HabitatGardens, parks, woodlands, and urban areas
Lifespan of AdultsNot recorded
Host PlantsAlder, birch, elm, lime, oak, and mulberry
Adult DietDoes not feed

Did You Know

  • Like most moths, they are nocturnal and attracted to light sources at night.
Lime Hawk Moth Picture

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Mimas tiliae

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Lime Hawk Moth Image

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