This species flies from June-July.
It has a 12 centimetres (4.7 in) wingspan and is found in urban areas, forests and woodlands. Similar in size to the yellow and blue Death's Head Hawkmoth, which is slightly larger, but is a rare vagrant. When disturbed this species will show it's pink and black abdomen, and hindwings, which is also pink and black. The wing is brown and black, with various white patches. The thorax is mostly black, but also has white, and the antennae are white.
The male Privet Hawk-moth can make a hissing sound, if disturbed, by rubbing together a set of scales and spines at the end of its abdomen.
The larvea are very large, and are green with purple stripes running down diagonally at certain parts of the body. There is a large "spike" on the end.