(one synonym : Protoparce minimus Miskin, 1891)
SMERINTHINAE, SPHINGIDAE, BOMBYCOIDEA
The first instar Caterpillars of this species are orange with a black head and a straight black tail spike.
Later instars are grey or black, sometimes speckled with pale dots, with an orange line that is sometimes broken along the back, The caterpillars usually also develop two pale yellow stripes along each side one above and one below the row of red or orange spiracles. On the tail, they have an entirely black slightly backward curving horn. The head and prothorax have black and white bands.
The caterpillars feed for preference on plants from the familiy MYOPORACEAE such as :
but also have been found on a variety of other plants, including :
The caterpillars grow to a length of about 6 cms. They burrow under the soil to pupate in a hardened cell at a depth of about 10 cms. The pupa has a length of about 3 cms.
The adult moths have streaky fawn wings, and have a pattern of diagonal and transverse dark marks on the abdomen. The moths have a wingspan of about 6 cms.
The species is found mainly over the inland northern half of Australia, including:
Further reading :
Ian F.B. Common,
Moths of Australia,
Melbourne University Press, 1990, fig. 40.7, p. 411.
Thomas P. Lucas,
Butterflies and Moths,
Descriptions of two new Butterflies and nine new Sphingidae or Hawk moths found in Queensland,
The Queenslander (Newspaper),
Saturday 9 May 1891, p. 894.
Thomas P. Lucas,
On Queensland and other Australian Lepidoptera, with Descriptions of new Species,
Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales,
Series 2, Volume 6 (1892), pp. 277-278.
William Henry Miskin,
A Revision of Australian Sphingidae,
Proceedings of the Royal Society of Queensland,
Volume 8, Part 1 (1891), p. 24, No. 40.
Maxwell S. Moulds, James P. Tuttle and David A. Lane.
Hawkmoths of Australia,
Monographs on Australian Lepidoptera Series, Volume 13 (2020),
pp. 93-98, Plates 17, 78, 85.
(updated 2 December 2009, 1 November 2013, 23 December 2014, 23 February 2015, 27 March 2020)