A photograph of the Eyed Hawkmoth (Smerinthus ocellata) showing the bright eyespots on the hindwings.
Photograph by Algirdas,
The colour patterns of some insects are used scare away predators.
As its name suggests, the Eyed Hawkmoth (Smerinthus ocellata) has large eyespots on its hind wings. When the moth is disturbed, it suddenly opens up its wings to expose the eyespots and startle predators such as birds. It also lifts its body up and down to look even scarier.
This activity show you how to make your own Eyed Hawkmoth and how to startle potential predators!
You will need
- Thin paper/tracing paper
- Paint or coloured pens/pencils
- Four paper fasteners
- A drawing pin
Make sure you get an adult to help you.
- Dowload and print out the parts of your moth:
- Cut out the four parts of the moth from the template
- Place the four parts of the moth onto your piece of cardboard and draw round them. Cut out the pieces and use a drawing pin to punch holes where there are black dots. Cut a long slit in the card as shown, get an adult to help you with this.
- Paint or colour in all four wings and the insect body. Remember to add the bright eyespots!
- Slide the handle through the slit in the body. Make sure the holes are at the top! See Figure 1.
Figure 1: An illustration showing the position of the handle inserted into the back of the moth
- Position the large wings (forewings) on top of the body as shown in Figure 2.
Figure 2: An illustration showing the position of the forewings on top of the body of the moth
- Line up the holes and fasten the wings in place with the paper fasteners.
- When you pull the handle down, the large wings will lift up to show the eyespots.