Theretra silhetensis (Walker, 1856)
(one synonym : Chaerocampa bisecta Moore, 1857)
MACROGLOSSINAE ,   SPHINGIDAE ,   BOMBYCOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans,
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Theretra silhetensis
early instar
(Photo: courtesy of Tom and David Sleep, Queensland)

Early instars of this species are green with a pale yellow dorsolateral line each side of the body and a dark tail spine.

Theretra silhetensis
late instar, green form
(Photo: courtesy of Tom and David Sleep, Queensland)

Later instars of these caterpillars have a row of seven half-eyespots along each side of the body. The spots consist of a round black spot half surrounded by a white semicircle, and this outlined by a black semicircular line. There is a yellow line along each side, just under the row of eyespots. The mature caterpillar has a short backward curving tailhorn.

Theretra silhetensis
late instar, brown form
(Photo: courtesy of Tom and David Sleep, Queensland)

The caterpillar has two forms: green and brown.

Theretra silhetensis
(Photo: courtesy of Todd Burrows, South Stradbroke Island)

Although many food plants have been recorded, the illustrated specimens were found feeding on :

  • Water Primrose ( Ludwigia octovalis, ONAGRACEAE ).

    Theretra silhetensis
    (Photo: courtesy of Tom and David Sleep, Queensland)

    The pupa is elongated, and has dark and light brown striations.

    Theretra silhetensis
    (Photo: courtesy of Tom and David Sleep, Queensland)

    The adult moths of this species have light brown fore wings with a dark stripe from base to apex. The moths have plain brown hind wings. They have a wingspan of about 5 cms.

    Theretra silhetensis
    (Photo: courtesy of Tom and David Sleep, Queensland)

    The eggs are laid singly. They are spherical and smooth, and pale green.

    Theretra silhetensis
    an egg, magnified
    (Photo: courtesy of Tom and David Sleep, Queensland)

    The species is found as several subspecies over south-east Asia, including :

  • China,
  • India,
  • Sri Lanka,
  • Vanuatu,

    as well as the subspecies intersecta (Butler, 1876) in Australia in

  • Queensland.


    Further reading:

    Arthur G. Butler,
    Descriptions of several new species of Sphingidae,
    Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London,
    1875, p. 623.

    Buck Richardson,
    Tropical Queensland Wildlife from Dusk to Dawn Science and Art,
    LeapFrogOz, Kuranda, 2015, p. 205.

    Francis Walker,
    List of the Specimens of Lepidopterous Insects in the Collection of the British Museum,
    Volume 8 (1856), p. 143.


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    (updated 22 April 2013)