Aussie White-brow Hawk Moth
(formerly known as Deilephila eras)
MACROGLOSSINAE, SPHINGIDAE, BOMBYCOIDEA
(Photo: courtesy of Susan Foyle, Sutherland, New South Wales)
The Caterpillar of this species can be brown with a dark line along each side, or green with a red line along each side.
The line is interrupted by a series of eyespots of varying sizes: large at each end tapering to smaller in the middle. The claspers are black. The caterpillar also has on the tail a brown curved horn which is strongly curved backwards nearly into a semicircle, and ends in a black point.
When disturbed, the caterpillar curls its head down onto its first two pairs of legs, and displays the third pair. The caterpillar can also exude liquid from its mouth, and has even been heard to give a squeal.
It feeds on a wide variety of plants, including the crops :
as well as :
The caterpillar pupates in a nest of curled leaves joined with silk. The pupa is brown with a series of black spots along each side of the abdomen.
The adults have brown forewings with a faint pattern of light and dark markings
The hindwings are bright yellow with dark margins. The moths have a wingspan of about 7 cms.
The eggs are green and spherical. They are laid singly on foodplant foliage.
The species occurs in the south pacific, including in
and also in Australia in :
Gnathothlibus eras was considered to be a subspecies of Gnathothlibus erotus (Cramer, 1777) which occurs across Australasia and the south Pacific, until DNA evidence showed that Gnathothlibus eras was a distinct species.
Further reading :
Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Dechauffour de Boisduval,
Faune Entomologique de L'Ocean Pacifique: Lépidoptères,
Voyage de Decouvertes de la Corvette l'Astrolabe,
Division 7, Part 1 (1832), pp. 185-186, No. 4.
Ian F.B. Common,
Moths of Australia,
Melbourne University Press, 1990, pls. 16.7, 29.3, pp. 71, 412.
Moths of Victoria - Part 1,
Silk Moths and Allies - BOMBYCOIDEA,
Entomological Society of Victoria, 2008, pp. 28-29.
LeapFrogOz, Kuranda, 2008, p. 36.
Tropical Queensland Wildlife from Dusk to Dawn Science and Art,
LeapFrogOz, Kuranda, 2015, p. 201 (listed as Gnathothlibus erotus).
Paul Zborowski and Ted Edwards,
A Guide to Australian Moths,
CSIRO Publishing, 2007, p. 169.
(updated 1 March 2010, 26 December 2014, 4 August 2015, 28 February 2016)