Cephonodes picus (Cramer, 1777)
(previously known as Sphinx picus)
MACROGLOSSINAE ,   SPHINGIDAE ,   BOMBYCOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Cephonodes picus
(Specimen: courtesy of the The Australian Museum)

These caterpillars are usually green, with pale lines along the back and each side. The caterpillars have been found feeding on a variety of plants, including:

  • Jasmine ( Jasminum, OLEACEAE ),
  • Gardenia ( Gardenia, RUBIACEAE ), and
  • Rambutan ( Nephelium, SAPINDACEAE ).

    Cephonodes picus
    drawing by Pieter Cramer, listed as Sphinx picus,
    Uitlandsche kapellen voorkomende in de drie waereld-deelen,
    Amsterdam Baalde, Volume 2 (1777), Plate CXLVIII, fig. B,
    image courtesy of Biodiversity Heritage Library, digitized by Smithsonian Libraries.

    The adult moths soon lose the scales from the wings, leaving them transparent. The moths then resemble Bumble Bees, hence the name 'Bee Hawks' for the moths in this genus Cephonodes.

    The wings have uniformly narrow opaque edges. The abdomen is brown with a dark band across one abdominal segment, and a dark dorsal mark on the adjacent segment. The moths have a wingspan of about 5 cms.


    Cocos Islands 1982

    The species is found over much of the tropics, including

  • India,
  • Philippines,

    as well as in Australia in

  • Torres Strait Islands.


    Further reading:

    Pieter Cramer,
    Description de Papillons Exotiques,
    Uitlandsche kapellen voorkomende in de drie waereld-deelen,
    Amsterdam Baalde, Volume 2 (1777), p. 83, and also Plate 148, fig. B.


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    (updated 21 December 2009, 15 February 2015)