Psilogramma menephron (Cramer, 1780)
Australasian Privet Hawk Moth
SPHINGINAE ,   SPHINGIDAE ,   BOMBYCOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans,
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

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

Initially this caterpillar is green with a series of diagonal white stripes on its sides, and a (harmless) curved spike on the tail. There are warts on the thorax, the tail spike, and the hind claspers. The caterpillar is often found in suburbia on

  • Privet ( Ligustrum vulgare, OLEACEAE ), and
  • White Jasmine ( Jasminum polyanthum, OLEACEAE ).

    Psilogramma menephron
    drawing by Pieter Cramer, listed as Sphinx menphron
    ,
    Uitlandsche kapellen voorkomende in de drie waereld-deelen,
    Amsterdam Baalde, Volume 3 (1782), Plate 285, fig. A,
    image courtesy of Biodiversity Heritage Library, digitized by Smithsonian Libraries.

    The adult moth has long narrow greyish forewings, with variable darker grey and white wavy patterns. The hindwings are generally dark grey. The thorax is outlined in black, and that outlined in white. The abdomen is grey with a dark dorsal line. The wingspan can be over 8 cms.

    The male moths can make a hissing sound by rubbing parts of the abdomen together.

    The species occurs across the south-west Pacific, including

  • Amboina,
  • Borneo,
  • China,
  • Hawaii,

    and including Australia in

  • Queensland, and
  • New South Wales
  • Tasmania.


    Further reading :

    Pieter Cramer,
    Description de Papillons Exotiques,
    Uitlandsche kapellen voorkomende in de drie waereld-deelen,
    Amsterdam Baalde, Volume 3 (1782), p. 164, and also Plate 285, fig. A..


    previous
    back
    caterpillar
    Australian
    Australian Butterflies
    butterflies
    Australian
    home
    caterpillars
    Australian
    Australian Moths
    moths
    next
    next
    caterpillar

    (updated 3 April 2013, 24 February 2015, 26 January 2016)