The largest caterpillars in the British Isles are members of the Sphingidae, Hawk-moth family

All Hawkmoth caterpillars are large and the largest caterpillar likely to be found in the British Isles is the migrant Death’s Head Hawkmoth, reaching 125mm in length.

In the UK the The Goat Moth caterpillar is longer than many species of Hawkmoth caterpillar but less bulky.

As well as their size most hawkmoth caterpillars have formidable looking tail spurs which are visible even on newly hatched caterpillars.

Hawkmoth caterpillars are most likely to be sighted when they leave their larval food plant and wander over the ground in search of a place to pupate in the ground.

Other migrant Hawkmoth caterpillars include

The Convolvulus Hawkmoth,

The Hummingbird Hawkmoth,

The Striped Hawkmoth

Oleander Hawkmoth.

The most commonly seen Hawkmoth caterpillars in gardens

The Elephant Hawkmoth

Lime Hawkmoth caterpillar

The Eyed Hawkmoth

The Poplar Hawkmoth

The Privet Hawkmoth

Finding a caterpillar in the moth picture gallery

If not found in this gallery try the other moth caterpillar galleries below.
Moth caterpillars page 1 – Some of the largest and hairiest caterpillars – Hepialidae to Thyatiridae
Moth caterpillars page 2 – The looping caterpillars – Geometridae
Moth caterpillars page 3 – (this page)
Moth caterpillars page 4 – Some of the hairiest caterpillars – Notodontidae to Arctiidae
Moth caterpillars page 5 – Large group with both brown and brightly coloured, smooth skin larvae and other brightly coloured hairy caterpillars – Noctuidae

Other insect caterpillar/larvae galleries –
Butterfly caterpillars
Sawfly caterpillars/larvae
other insect larvae.
North American caterpillars

PLEASE NOTE - we have closed comments due to excess spam but are still identifying many caterpillar queries sent by email to Steve - - see our page on help with caterpillar identification for more information.