Triangle Hawk Moth
(one synonym : Brachyglossa banksiae Boisduval, )
SMERINTHINAE, SPHINGIDAE, BOMBYCOIDEA
early instar with very pointed head
(Photo: courtesy of Ken Jackson, Wedderburn, New South Wales)
The caterpillars of this species lack the spike on the tail that many caterpillars in SPHINGIDAE have, but the last abdominal segment is huge, and the body tapers to a tiny forked head. The caterpillars are green and covered in small warts. There is a diagonal yellow stripe on each side of each abdominal segment.
The caterpillars grow to a length of about 12 cms. They feed on the foliage of various species of :
The pupa is dark brown and has a length of about 7 cms. It is formed in a sparse cocoon in the ground litter.
The adult moths have forewings that are light and dark brown with a variable wavy pattern, and hindwings that are orange with a brown trailing edge. The moths have a wingspan of about 12 cms.
The male moths have coremata which display tufts of orange hair, probably dispersing pheromones to attract females.
The species is found over much of Australia, including:
The undersides are brown with a submarginal arc of dark dots on each wing, and a dark mark halfway long each forewing costa.
Further reading :
Ian F.B. Common,
Moths of Australia,
Melbourne University Press, 1990, fig. 41.5, p. 412.
General Illustration of Entomology,
An Epitome of the Natural History of the Insects of New Holland, New Zealand, New Guinea, Otaheite and other Islands in the Indian, Southern and Pacific Oceans,
London (1803), Part 1, pp. 150, 151.
The life history of Metamimas australasiae Donovan (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae),
The Australian Entomologist,
Volume 22, Part 3 (September 1995), pp. 91-95.
Moths of Victoria - Part 1,
Silk Moths and Allies - BOMBYCOIDEA,
Entomological Society of Victoria, 2008, pp. 30-31.
Tropical Queensland Wildlife from Dusk to Dawn Science and Art,
LeapFrogOz, Kuranda, 2015, p. 207.
(updated 25 January 2010, 19 March 2017)