(previously known as Macroglossa hirundo)
MACROGLOSSINAE, SPHINGIDAE, BOMBYCOIDEA
(Photo: courtesy of Maria Rosenfelder, Sunshine Coast Hinterland, Queensland)
The caterpillars of this species initially are green and covered in small pale dots, with a black spot containing white dots on each side of each segment. The spiracles also on each side of each segment are orange or red. The caterpillars have a green head, black true legs, and a dark red forward curving spine on the tail. When disturbed: the caterpillars rear up their head and thorax.
Later they can become brown or stay green, covered in small white dots. There is a dark dorsal line which may be fragmented into a line of dashes. A pair of pale dorso-lateral lines run from the head to the tail. They also have a dark brown spine on the tail (which is quite harmless). They grow to a length of about 6 cms.
The caterpillars feed on various members of the RUBIACEAE family, including :
The pupa is brown with a row of black spots along each side.
The adult moths have patterned grey or brown forewings, with a pale bar across the middle of each one.
The hindwings are yellow with a broad black border. The moths rest with the tip of the abdomen curled upwards. The moth has a wingspan of about 4 cms.
The eggs are spherical and off-white. They are laid singly under the leaf of a foodplant.
The species is found as various subspecies in:
and as the subspecies errans Walker, 1856, in Australia in
Further reading :
Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Dechauffour de Boisduval,
Faune Entomologique de L'Ocean Pacifique,
Voyage de Decouvertes de la Corvette l'Astrolabe,
Division 7, Part 1 : Lepidopteres (1832), pp. 188-189.
Ian F.B. Common,
Moths of Australia,
Melbourne University Press, 1990, pl. 16.3, p. 413.
Tropical Queensland Wildlife from Dusk to Dawn Science and Art,
LeapFrogOz, Kuranda, 2015, p. 202.
Lepidoptera Heterocera: Sphingidae,
List of the Specimens of Lepidopterous Insects in the Collection of the British Museum,
Part 8 (1856), p. 96, No. 20.
(updated 12 September 2011, 3 March 2015)