Macroglossum prometheus (Boisduval, 1875)
(one synonym : Macroglossa lineata Lucas, 1891)
Don Herbison-Evans
Stella Crossley

Photo: courtesy of Buck Richardson, from
Tropical Queensland Wildlife from Dusk to Dawn Science and Art

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, Queensland)

    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 :

    Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Dechauffour de Boisduval,
    in: Boisduval & Guenée,
    Histoire Naturelle des Insectes,
    Species Général des Lépidoptéres Hétérocéres,
    Volume 1 (1875), p. 355, No. 37.

    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.

    Buck Richardson,
    Tropical Queensland Wildlife from Dusk to Dawn Science and Art,
    LeapFrogOz, Kuranda, 2015, p. 202.

    Australian Butterflies
    Australian Moths

    (created 15 July 2003, updated 22 January 2012)