Hippotion boerhaviae (Fabricius, 1775)
(one synonym : Sphinx vampyrus Fabricius, 1787)
MACROGLOSSINAE,   SPHINGIDAE,   BOMBYCOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans,
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley


Photo: courtesy of Buck Richardson, from
Tropical Queensland Wildlife from Dusk to Dawn Science and Art

The Caterpillars of this species are green or black with a pair of outlined pale spots on each segment. Each side of the first abdominal segment, there is a large black eyespot containing white dots, and outlined in brown. The tail spike is long and black, with a reddish base and a white tip.

The caterpillars have been found feeding on plant species in the genus:

  • Oldenlandia, ( RUBIACEAE ).

    although there have been reports of it feeding also on

  • Impatiens ( BALSAMINACEAE ), and
  • Boerhavia ( NYCTAGINACEAE )


    Cocos Islands 1982

    The adult moths have striped brown forewings and hindwings that are red with dark brown outer margins, and pale brown inner margins. The wingspan is about 6 cms.

    The species is found across south-east Asia and the south-west Pacific, including :

  • Borneo,
  • Hawaii,
  • India,
  • New Caledonia,
  • Papua,

    and in Australia in

  • Northern Territory, and
  • Queensland.


    Further reading :

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia,
    Melbourne University Press, 1990, p. 415.

    Johan Christian Fabricius,
    Historiae Naturalis Fautoribus,
    Systema Entomologiae,
    1774, p. 542, No. 22.

    Buck Richardson,
    Tropical Queensland Wildlife from Dusk to Dawn Science and Art,
    LeapFrogOz, Kuranda, 2015, p. 201.


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    (updated 5 January 2007, 22 April 2016)