Nephele hespera (Fabricius, 1775)
(one synonym : Zonilia morpheus Cramer, 1777)
MACROGLOSSINAE ,   SPHINGIDAE ,   BOMBYCOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Nephele hespera
male, drawing by Pieter Cramer, listed as Sphinx chiron
,
Uitlandsche kapellen voorkomende in de drie waereld-deelen,
Amsterdam Baalde, Volume 2 (1777), Plate CXXXVII, fig. E,
image courtesy of Biodiversity Heritage Library, digitized by Smithsonian Libraries.

These Caterpillars are green or brown with a series of diagonal stripes along each side. The tail horn has a tooth. The caterpillars grow to a length of about 7 cms. The caterpillars have been found feeding on

  • Karonda ( Carissa carandas, APOCYNACEAE ).

    Nephele hespera
    female, drawing by Pieter Cramer, listed as Sphinx morpheus
    ,
    Uitlandsche kapellen voorkomende in de drie waereld-deelen,
    Amsterdam Baalde, Volume 2 (1777), Plate CXLIX, fig. D,
    image courtesy of Biodiversity Heritage Library, digitized by Smithsonian Libraries.

    The adult moths are brown, with a subdued vague pattern. The females, but not the males, have some white spots near the middle of each forewing. The wingspan is about 8 cms.

    The species has been found in :

  • China,
  • India,

    as well as in Australia in

  • Queensland.


    Further reading :

    Pieter Cramer,
    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,
    Systema Entomologiae,
    Flensburgi et Lipsiae (1775), p. 546, No. 33.


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    (updated 24 March 2009, 30 October 2015)