Psilogramma argos Moulds & Lane, 2000
Argos Hawk Moth
SPHINGINAE ,   SPHINGIDAE ,   BOMBYCOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans,
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Max Moulds & D.A. Lane
and
Stella Crossley

Psilogramma argos
(Photo by Clifford Frith, courtesy of The Australian Entomologist)

This Caterpillar was discovered only recently (1997). It was named from the Greek word argos meaning 'white', because of the pale colour of the adult moths.

The caterpillar is green with a strong curved horn on its tail pointing backwards, a series of diagonal white stripes on its sides, and dark marks on the back of each segment. Its foodplant is :

  • Stinkwood ( Gyrocarpus americanus, HERNANDIACEAE ).

    The caterpillar grows to a length of about 8 cms.

    Psilogramma argos
    (Photo by Clifford Frith, courtesy of The Australian Entomologist)

    When the caterpillar is fully grown, it leaves the food plant and walks around looking for somewhere to dig down about 15 cms. There, under the soil, it forms a cell of silk in which it pupates. The pupa has a separate compartment at one end in which the haustellum develops.

    Psilogramma argos
    (Photo by Stewart Humphreys, courtesy of The Australian Entomologist)

    The adult moth has long narrow wings which are a pale grey colour, with black markings. The abdomen is grey, with no dark dorsal line.

    Psilogramma argos
    underside
    (Photo by Stewart Humphreys, courtesy of The Australian Entomologist)

    The species occurs over much of the tropical north of Australia, including:

  • Western Australian,
  • Northern Territory, and
  • north Queensland.


    Further reading :

    Maxwell Sydney Moulds & David Lane,
    A new hawk moth from Northern Australia with notes on its life history (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae),
    The Australian Entomologist,
    Volume 26 (1999), p. 37-44, figs. 1-7, 10, 14-15.


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    (updated 24 October 2009)