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jardin-perdu / Great Peacock or Giant Peacock Moth (Saturnia pyri) - jardin-perdu

Great Peacock or Giant Peacock Moth (Saturnia pyri)

French name: Le Grand Paon de Nuit

French wildlife: Great Peacock moth

The Great Peacock moth is the largest of any butterfly or moth species found in Europe, with its wingspan reaching an impressive 10-20cm!

Here in France the Great Peacock moth is commonly found in the south of the country, though this one was photographed by Kaye in La Creuse, département 23, close to the border of département 36 at Aigaurand.

When not enjoying Kayes window plants, The Great Peacock moth prefers open countryside and is often seen around orchards,where the caterpillars feast on the leaves of fruit trees and the moths themselves can be found sitting on the tree trunks during the day.

The Great Peacock moth flies in springtime, this photograph was taken earlier this year, in May.

Look out for this giant next year, certainly a moth that can not easily be missed!

Thanks for the great photograph Kaye (photograph kindly forwarded via The Living in France Forums)

A bientôt
Katherine x

'Great Peacock or Giant Peacock Moth (Saturnia pyri)' have 13 comments

  1. January 24, 2013 @ 12:46 pm John

    Thanks for this great page, I used the link on Facebook.


  2. May 12, 2013 @ 2:26 pm Carole Le Brocq

    I found a great peacock moth on our garden gate. Our holiday home is close to Belle Isle en Terre, near Guimgamp, North Brittany on the 11th May.


  3. May 14, 2013 @ 7:43 am Philip Galvin

    Found one this morning 14th May 2013 on a tomato plant in Lucon, vendee.
    Took a couple of photos and will put on facebook. Very impressive


  4. July 1, 2013 @ 11:22 am Irena

    We had one of these INSIDE our house once and a great commotion it caused as we thought it was a bird, it was so big. This is in 24.


  5. April 6, 2014 @ 7:06 pm jane hadley

    Jai un sur ma fenetre je suis a Cartignies dans le Nord 59.


  6. May 4, 2014 @ 7:24 am Roger Burnett

    Just found S pyri -run over outside the church in Tannay Nievre 58190
    wingspan ~14cms


  7. June 15, 2014 @ 5:33 pm Shirley Barker

    We saw and photographed one of these In Ruille Froid Fonds, Mayenne a week ago, approx 6th June 2014


  8. May 11, 2015 @ 8:03 pm christpher

    We have one of these impressive creatures in our garden
    first seen from underneath, now that is spectacular…more so than atop, four almost wolfish eye patterns.
    probably about 10cm wingspan
    Altitude 415m 18km south of La Souterraine


    • May 12, 2015 @ 6:54 am Katherine

      Hi there, wonderful and thank you for letting me know. I’ve not been fortunate enough to see one as yet, but I’m in La Correze so perhaps it’ll make its way here!


  9. May 12, 2015 @ 6:56 am Katherine

    Lots of sightings of this moth at the moment. Just received this message from Clive who’s on his way down to the South of France for his holidays ‘Just photographed the Giant Moth found outside le B&B in Alencon. 22:00 hrs 11-05-15. It was on the lawned area so I transferred it to the hedge. On my down to the South of France for my hols.’


  10. May 28, 2016 @ 6:47 am Cathy

    I regularly moth trap here in my garden in the Alsace and keep a record of all that come to the light. I want to share my record a with my local naturalist group but can’t because their site uses French ,not Latin names. Does anyone have a list of moth names in French with their Latin or English or names?
    Thanks to your lovely pictures I now know some, but need more!


    • May 29, 2016 @ 8:33 am Katherine

      Hi Cathy, thank you for visiting my blog. Take a look at this website, it may help you http://www.lotmoths.com Katherine x


      • May 31, 2016 @ 7:43 am Cathy

        Thank you so much, that is exactly what I needed.
        The Fauna of the Alsace web site has a very confusing mixture of French names and latin. I wish they just used the latin! Anyway it is good for improving my French.
        Found a lovelyPetite Spinx de la vignes ( or lesser elephant Hawk Moth) in my trap at the weekend, plus plenty of others that I will be able to find the French names for. Thanks again.


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