AppearanceThis is a large , odd-looking, species due to its habit of resting with its hindwings held further forward than the forewings . It is said to look like a cluster of dead leaves of the main host, poplar. When disturbed, the moth will suddenly reveal a bright orange-red basal patch on the hindwing, possibly as a distraction or startle display. Gynandromorphs, half female and half male, are common. The wings are grey marked with darker grey fascia but with the greys occasionally replaced by buffish tones .There is a white spot at the distal edge of the cell on the fore wings.
Naming*''Laothoe populi populi''
⤷ ''Laothoe populi lappona''
BehaviorOne or two broods are produced each year and adults can be seen from May to September. The adults do not feed. The species overwinters as a pupa.
ReproductionOn first hatching the larva is pale green with small yellow tubercules and a cream-coloured tail horn. Later, it develops yellow diagonal stripes on its sides, and pink spiracles. Individuals feeding on willows may become quite heavily spotted with red. Others are more bluish white with cream stripes and tubercules. They are stout bodied, and grow to 65–85 mm.
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