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Simon Owen uses Facebook to identify Privet Hawk-Moth on The Gossip Board - Sittingbourne

By Hayley Robinson

It's a mam-moth - a four-inch giant that put a family in a flap.

Simon Owen, 40, found the bizarre specimen on the path outside his home in Murston, Kent, on Saturday (28/6)

His partner Rebecca Yeo, 36, and their daughter Rebecca, ten, ran away in fright but Simon picked it up.

The creature turned out to be a Privet Hawk Moth
The creature turned out to be a Privet Hawk Moth

The double glazer placed the mystery animal in his shed but the moth flew away just hours later.

Curious Simon, a father-of-five, posted a picture of the huge find on Facebook where it was identified as a Privet Hawk-Moth.

He said: "When it first latched on to my finger it had really sticky feet and I was a bit freaked out. I tried to shake it off.

"I mean it was absolutely massive. By far the biggest insect I have ever seen.

"I mean it was quite happy for us to hold it and I put it in the shed to get it off the road. Eventually it just flew away."

The moth had distinctive markings on its body
The moth had distinctive markings on its body

Rebecca, assistant manager at a storage company, said: "I wondered what it was. I’d never seen anything like it before.

"It was about 10cm long and about the same length when it’s wings were open.

"We put it in a flower pot outside and eventually it went."

The Wildlife Trust have said the insect is commonly found in parks and gardens as well as woodland in June and July.

Have you taken any photos of interesting insects? If so, emailsittingbourne@thekmgroup.co.uk

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