Don Herbison-Evans (
(updated 15 June2010)
plain green form
(Photo: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)
This is Australia's largest Hawk Moth.
The Caterpillar presents a puzzle : deciding which end is the head.
Its real head is an orange conical structure, but on its tail are two large raised black knobs. These look like a pair of large eyes, so that an observer or predator finds it difficult to determine which end is actually the head, hence its common name.
The rest of the Caterpillar is green or yellow, often with yellow diagonal stripes, sometimes with purplish lateral markings, and is covered in soft short pale spines. It feeds on various PROTEACEAE such as :
It grows to a length of about 10 cms.
The adult moth is yellow and brown with broad wavy markings, and is large, with a wingspan of about 13 cms.
The species occurs mainly in
Further reading :
Butterflies and Moths, Collins Eyewitness Handbooks, Sydney 1992, p. 240.
Ian F.B. Common,
Moths of Australia, Melbourne University Press, 1990, pl. 16.1, p. 412.
Moths of Victoria: Vol 1: Bombycoidea,
Entomological Society of Victoria, 2008, pp. 30-31.
Paul Zborowski and Ted Edwards,
A Guide to Australian Moths, CSIRO Publishing, 2007, p. 31.