Acosmeryx miskini (Murray, 1873)
Miskin's Hawk Moth
(previously known as Daphnusa miskini)
MACROGLOSSINAE,   SPHINGIDAE,   BOMBYCOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans,
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Initially these Caterpillars are green with a white-tipped brown strong curved forward-facing horn on the tail. There is a off-white line bordered below by pink, along each side, above pale diagonal stripes on each segment. The body is speckled with pale yellow dots. In the last instar, the tail horn bends strongly backward, and has no white tip.

These caterpillars have been found feeding on various species of VITACEAE including

  • Slender Grape ( Cayratia clematidea ),
  • Kangaroo Vine ( Cissus antarctica ), and
  • Cultivated Grape ( Vitis vinifera ).

    The caterpillar grows to a length of about 8 cms. Pupation occurs in a flimsy cocoon decorated with soil and leaf litter, amongst dead leaves or in a crevice. The pupa has a length of about 6 cms.


    (Photo: courtesy of Ric Nattrass, Bellbird Park, Ipswich)

    This specimen was photographed after emergence from the pupa which was found under some timber under a house in Ipswich.


    The adult moths have blotchy grey forewings, each with a dark-outlined pale dot near the middle. The hindwings and body are brownish-grey, and there are dark marks each side of abdominal segments 3 and 4.


    (Specimen: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)

    The species may occur in

  • New Guinea,
    although the specimens noted there might actually be Acosmeryx miskinoides,

    but Acosmeryx miskini does occur in Australia in

  • Queensland, and
  • New South Wales.


    Further reading:

    Max S. Moulds, James P. Tuttle and David A. Lane.
    Hawkmoths of Australia,
    Monographs on Australian Lepidoptera Series, Volume 13 (2020),
    pp. 56-58, Plates 6, 80, 84.

    Rev. Richard P. Murray,
    Description of a new species of Daphnusa (Sphingidae) from Queensland,
    Cistula Entomologica,
    Volume 1, Part 7 (Oct. 1873), p. 178.

    Buck Richardson,
    Tropical Queensland Wildlife from Dusk to Dawn Science and Art,
    LeapFrogOz, Kuranda, 2015, p. 196.


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    (updated 11 February 2010, 28 February 2016, 16 February 2020)