But let me go on further. It seems like an "Art Deco" moth to me.
Perhaps the Art Deco designers, especially transportation designers (who became obsessed with "streamlining") took their inspiration from Nature?
What better model to follow than the wonderfully streamlined Hawk Moth? So, it could simply be an example of Art echoing Nature. That makes more sense to me than "Intelligent Design" protagonists claiming that Nature acts according to our simplistic human understandings (of the enormously complex evolutionary processes).
Nature 1: Intelligent Design theorists 0.
Consider also more superficial design aspects (the aesthetics) of this Moth. Consider the "eyebrow markings" and antennae, and the white legs. To me, these remind me of the "white wall tyres" and chrome finish so heavily favoured by Cadillac car designers in the "forties and fifties".
|Coprosma Hawk Moth - an model for White-walled tyres and Chrome bumper-bars?|
So lets get down to a bit of Moth biology.
This Moth is called Hippotion scrofa (Boisduval,*** 1832), It is known as the "Coprosma Hawk Moth". There is an excellent photo by Donald Hobern on the Wikipedia site, plus a Museum Specimen displaying the forewings and hind wings in the traditional manner of pinned specimens.
Note the relatively plain forewings (just a hint of a dark patch). But there is a wonderfully rich red ochre colour, with a black trailing edge line, on the lower (hind) wings. The hind wings on Hawk Moths are much smaller than the forewings.
|Coprosma Hawk Moth - Hippotion scrofa|
*** I often note the influence of the early French explorers (La Perouse and d'Entrecasteaux and their scientists (e.g., Labillardière). In this case, the link is from Boisduval who named this Moth, from collections made either on the "Astrolabe" (under La Perouse) or the "Cocquille" (under Duperrey). Boisduval's original collection of Hawk Moths (the Sphingidae), including the "Type Specimen" of this species (presumably), is in the famous Carnegie Museum of Natural History, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.