Daphnis moorei (A. Macleay, 1866)
(formerly known as Darapsa moorei)
MACROGLOSSINAE,   SPHINGIDAE,   BOMBYCOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans,
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley


(Photo: courtesy of Glenn White, Townsville, Queensland).

Most instars of this caterpillar are green with a brown backward curving tailhorn, and a pair of white or red and yellow dorso-lateral stripes. Different instars have various coloured markings along the sides, including a blue eyespot each side of the metathorax. The final instar is a blotchy pale reddish-brown.


(Photo: courtesy of Dick Whitford, Mt Molloy, Queensland).

The caterpillar feeds on various plants in the family RUBIACEAE, including

  • Leichhardt tree ( Nauclea orientalis ).


    camouflaged cocoon
    (Photo: courtesy of Dick Whitford, Mt Molloy, Queensland).

    The caterpillar pupates ina cocoon covered in bits of dead leaf.


    two pupae
    (Photo: courtesy of Dick Whitford, Mt Molloy, Queensland).

    The pupae are long and thin, with a length of about 7 cms. The pupae are brown, each with two dark lines: one ventral, one dorsal.


    (Photo: courtesy of Buck Richardson, Kuranda, Queensland)

    The adult moth is brown with complex patterns of light and shade on the wings, and a narrow white band across the first abdominal segment. The wingspan can be up to 12 cms.

    The species occurs in

  • Papua,

    as well as in Australia in

  • Western Australia,
  • Northern Territory, and
  • Queensland.

    This species was originally thought to be a subspecies of Daphnis hypothous Cramer, 1780. Recently it has been shown to be a distinct species.


    Further reading:

    William Macleay,
    Transactions of the Entomological Society of New South Wales,
    Volume 1, October 1866, p. LV, No. 24.


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    (updated 7 November 2011, 4 August 2015, 7 April 2019)