Macroglossum prometheus (Boisduval, 1875)
(one synonym : Macroglossa lineata Lucas, 1891)
MACROGLOSSINAE ,   SPHINGIDAE ,   BOMBYCOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley


(Photo: courtesy of Buck Richardson, Kuranda)

The Caterpillars of this species are usually green, although grey and brown varieties have been found. The caterpillars have a faint dark dorsal line, and a pair of faint yellow dorso-lateral lines, and some pale speckling. The caterpillars have a harmless tail horn, with a tip that curves forwards. The horn is dark in early instars, but becomes green in mature caterpillars. The caterpillars have been found feeding on

  • Noni ( Morinda citrifolia, RUBIACEAE ).

    Pupation occurs in joined dead leaves on the ground. The pupa is greenish brown, with a black dorsal stripe on the thorax, and a row of black spots along each side of the abdomen.

    The adult moth is brown with a faint patchy pattern on the forewings. Each hindwing is crossed by a broad orange bar. There is a broad tuft of brown hair on the tip of the abdomen. The wingspan is about 5 cms.


    (Photo: courtesy of David and Tom Sleep, Brisbane)

    The specimen pictured above was found by David Sleep in late May 2003, caught in a web still just alive in a garage at Taigum which is in north Brisbane.

    The species is found over much of south-east Asia, including

  • Borneo,
  • China,
  • Java,
  • Malaysia, and
  • New Guinea.

    The subspecies lineatum Lucas, 1891, is found in Australia in

  • Northern Territory, and
  • Queensland.


    Further reading :

    David Lane,
    An Interesting Record of the Hawkmoth Macroglossum prometheus lineatum Lucas (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae) from the Northern Territory,
    Metamorphosis Australia, Issue 54 (September 2009), pp. 10-12,
    Butterflies and Other Invertebrates Club.


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    (created 15 July 2003, updated 22 January 2012)