Don Herbison-Evans (
(Photo: courtesy of Tom and David Sleep, Queensland)
Initially the Caterpillars of this species are green with a straight tail horn. Later instars can become either green or dark brown.
Both forms develop pale diagonal stripes along the sides, and a backward curving horn on the tail. They differ from Caterpillars of many other SPHINGIDAE species in having no eye-spots on the abdomen, but having vertical stripes on the head.
These caterpillars feed on the foliage of many plants in the family CONVOLVULACEAE. They are a pest in New Guinea and Indonesia on :
and also have been found on:
The caterpillars have also been reported as feeding on :
The caterpillar may walk up to 300 metres from the food plant to pupate. It pupates in a cell in the soil. The pupa has a long looped compartment for the developing haustellum.
The adult moths of this species are grey
with with a complex light and dark pattern on the wings.
The abdomen has pink patches on the side of each segment.
They can hover in flight, and they have a long haustellum, which is extended to suck nectar when they hover over a flower.
When threatened, the moths expose vivid coloured bars along the abdomen. The moths have a wingspan of about 8 cms. The pheromones of this species have been studied.
The egg is smooth, white, and slightly oval, laid singly on the upper surface of a leaf of a foodplant.
The species is found from Europe to Asia, including :
Further reading :
Ian F.B. Common,
Moths of Australia, Melbourne University Press, 1990, fig. 41.1, pp. 67, 411.
Moths of Victoria: Vol 1: Bombycoidea,
Entomological Society of Victoria, 2008, pp. 28-31.
LeapFrogOz, Kuranda, 2008, p. 37.
(updated 7 April 2011)