Psilogramma exigua Brechlin, Lane, & Kitching, 2010
SPHINGINAE,   SPHINGIDAE,   BOMBYCOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans,
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Psilogramma exigua
(Photo: courtesy of Craig Nieminski, Darwin, Northern Territory)

This Caterpillar is green initially plain green with a straight dark tail spike. Later instars develop a series of diagonal pale stripes on its sides, and pale warts develop all over the body. In the last instar, the tail spike curves back, and brown patches often develop along the back and between the prolegs.

The caterpillar has been found feeding on plants in LAMIACEAE, including:

  • Lolly Bush (Clerodendrum floribundum), and
  • Simpleleaf Chastetree (Vitex trifolia).

    The caterpillar grows to a length of about 7.5 cms. It burrows in to soil, and creates a cell in which to pupate. The pupa is brown, with a loop extending under the head accommodating the developing haustellum. The pupa has a length of about 5 cms.

    Psilogramma exigua
    (Photo: courtesy of Graeme Cocks, Townsville, Queensland)

    The adult moth of this species has long narrow greyish forewings, with complex variable darker grey and white patterns. The hindwings are grey with a pale area along the hind margins. The thorax The wingspan can be over 8 cms.

    Psilogramma exigua
    (Photo: courtesy of Axel Hausmann, SNSB, Zoologische Staatssammlung Muenchen)

    The eggs are laid singly on the underside of a foodplant leaf. The eggs are nearly oval with a length of about 2 mms. Initially they are pale green, turning partly rusty brown as hatching approaches.

    The species occurs in Australia in

  • Western Australia,
  • Northern Territory, and
  • Queensland.


    Further reading:

    Ronald Brechlin & Ian J. Kitching,
    Four new species of the genus Psilogramma Rothschild & Jordan, 1903 Lepidoptera, Sphingidae),
    Entomo-satsphingia,
    Volume 3, Part 3c (2010), pp. 66-74.

    Maxwell S. Moulds, James P. Tuttle and David A. Lane.
    Hawkmoths of Australia,
    Monographs on Australian Lepidoptera Series, Volume 13 (2020),
    pp. 220-223, Plates 55, 74, 90.


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    (updated 3 April 2013, 24 February 2015, 9 June 2020)