Macroglossum corythus (Walker, 1856)
(one synonym : Macroglossa pylene Felder, 1861)
MACROGLOSSINAE ,   SPHINGIDAE ,   BOMBYCOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans,
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Macroglossum corythus
(Photo: courtesy of Shipher Wu, Taiwan)

This Caterpillar has several colour forms including green and dark brown. It is speckled with pale yellow dots. There are yellow spots each side of the body. The tail has a forward curving spike with pale yellow granulations, which is fearsome but quite harmless. It has been reported to feed on various plants, including :

  • Strychnine Plant ( Strychnos nux-vomica, LOGANIACEAE ),
  • Guettarda ( Guettarda species, RUBIACEAE )
  • Indian Mulberry ( Morinda citrifolia, RUBIACEAE ),
  • Skunk Vine ( Paederia foetida, RUBIACEAE ), and
  • Chinese Fevervine ( Paederia scandens, RUBIACEAE ).

    The Caterpillar grows to a length of about 7 cms.

    Macroglossum corythus
    Photo: courtesy of Yakovlev Alexey, Malaysia
    (licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license)

    The adult moths have brown forewings with a faint sinuous pattern. The hindwings are dark brown with a broad diagonal yellow band across each one. The body is brown with a bunch of hairs on the tail.

    The species is found as various subspecies across south-east Asia, from the Cocos Islands to New Caledonia, including

  • Hong Kong,
  • Japan,
  • Laos,
  • Palau,
  • Taiwan,

    as well as Australia in

  • Queensland.


    Further reading:

    Francis Walker,
    Catalogue of Lepidoptera Heterocera,
    List of the Specimens of Lepidopterous Insects in the Collection of the British Museum,
    Part 8 (1856), pp. 92-93.


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    (updated 2 December 2009)