(one synonym : Zonilia morpheus Cramer, 1777)
MACROGLOSSINAE, SPHINGIDAE, BOMBYCOIDEA
(Photo: courtesy of S. Mirza, and the Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics, University of Guelph)
The early instars of this Caterpillar are green, with a long dark tail horn that curves forwards. Later instars may be green or brown, and have a white diagonal stripe pointing up and back on each side of the first abdominal segments, and a white diagonal stripe pointing down and back each side of the last abdominal segments. The tail horn of the last instar has an ambiguous curvature.
The caterpillars have been found feeding on various plants in APOCYNACEAE, including, in Australia:
The caterpillars grow to a length of about 7 cms. They pupate in a cocoon in the ground litter. The pupa is a patchy brown, with black spiracles. It has a horizontally flattened cremaster, and a vertically flattened protrusion in front of the head accommodating the developing haustellum. The pupa has a length of about 5 cms.
The adult moths have dark brown forewings, each with a subdued vague pattern. Some moths have white spots near the middle of each forewing, which are often associated with being male. The hindwings are plain dark brown. The wingspan is about 8 cms.
The eggs are pale green, becoming yellow as hatching approaches. They are oval with a length of about 1.6 mms. They are laid singly, typically under young leaves or on thorns of the foodplant.
The species has been found from the Middle East across south-east Asia, including
as well as in Australia in
Further reading :
Description de Papillons Exotiques,
Uitlandsche kapellen voorkomende in de drie waereld-deelen,
Amsterdam Baalde, Volume 2 (1777), pp. 62-63,, and also p. 84,, and also Plate 137, fig. E, and also Plate 149, fig. D.
Johan Christian Fabricius,
Historiae Natvralis Favtoribvs,
Flensburgi et Lipsiae (1775), p. 546, No. 33.
Maxwell S. Moulds, James P. Tuttle and David A. Lane.
Hawkmoths of Australia,
Monographs on Australian Lepidoptera Series, Volume 13 (2020),
pp. 2205-208, Plates 51, 78, 89.
(updated 24 March 2009, 30 October 2015, 13 December 2020)