The forewings of this moth are brown with a reddish bloom and clouded with an olive-brown pattern. It has a wingspan of 60 to 88 millimetres. Its hind wings are rosy red at the base, and each has a large, beautiful eye-like spot that is grey at the centre, surrounded by blue and ringed with black. It also has a wide brown stripe stretching along its body. The caterpillar has a rough green skin sprinkled with white, and seven oblique white stripes on each side. It has a blue tail horn and white spiracles ringed with dark red.
With the exception of Arctic areas, the eyed hawk-moth can be found between May and July in most of Europe, Asia Minor, southeastern Siberia and the Altai Mountains. The caterpillars live on willow, birch, pear, apple, bird cherry, aspen, poplar and alder trees.
Adult moths do not feed. Caterpillars feed on tree and shrub leaves.