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Alcohol and tobacco used to lure huge hawk-moths.

Byline: 31 NEWS Edited by Nathan Bevan If you have an environment story contact Nathan on 029 2024 3631 or email

THE age-old lures of alcohol and tobacco are being employed by nature lovers in a bid to attract a huge continental moth whose tongue is longer than its body.

The convolvulus hawkmoth, which has a 12cm wingspan, migrates from southern Europe and a few hundred are spotted each year in the UK, mainly in the late summer and early autumn.

Moth-lovers are hoping to lure the hawk-moth to their gardens with the nectar of the deep tubular flowers of tobacco plants, which the moth likes to feed on using its 7.5cm proboscis as it hovers with pinpoint precision.

It is just one of a number of exotic moths which people may spot during "moth night" celebrations over the next few nights, which organisers Atropos and Butterfly Conservation hope will help build a better picture of moth migration in the UK.

Alongside traps luring moths with light, mothlovers are employing some more boozy attractions, including "wine roping" - hanging out ropes soaked in alcohol - and "sugaring" which involves painting tree trunks or posts with sugar, syrup and beer.

The changes to moth migration could reveal important information about the impacts of climate change on populations of the insects. Butterfly Conservation's head of recording Richard Fox said: "With migrants such as the massive convolvulus hawk-moth mixing with beautiful homegrown autumnal species, Moth Night is a great opportunity to discover the hidden wonders of our nocturnal wildlife at a public event or even in your own back garden."

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Alcohol and tobacco are being used to lure convolvulus hawk-moths

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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Sep 11, 2015
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