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The wingspan is 80–105 mm. This hawkmoth's basic coloration is in grayish tones, but the abdomen has a broad gray dorsal stripe and pink and black bands edged with white on the sides. The hindwings are light grey with darker broad crosslines.
It is common throughout Europe, Africa and Australia, partly as a migrant. It shows a preference for warm open areas, i.e. agricultural steppes, but can be found almost anywhere except dense forest.