Daphnis nerii

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Daphnis nerii
Oleander Hawk-moth Daphnis nerii.jpg
Oleander Hawkmoth (female) In Mangaon, Maharashtra, India
Daphnis nerii BMNHE813072 male up.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Sphingidae
Genus: Daphnis
Species: D. nerii
Binomial name
Daphnis nerii
(Linnaeus, 1758)[1]
  • Sphinx nerii Linnaeus, 1758
  • Deilephila nerii
  • Daphnis nerii nigra Schmidt, 1914
  • Daphnis nerii infernelutea Saalmüller, 1884
  • Daphnis nerii confluens Closs, 1912
  • Daphnis nerii bipartita Gehlen, 1934

Daphnis nerii (formerly Deilephila nerii), known as the oleander hawk-moth or army green moth, is a moth of the Sphingidae family.


Distribution map of Daphnis nerii. Blue: Summer distribution. Green: All year distribution.

Daphnis nerii is a large hawk-moth found in wide areas of Africa and Asia. It is a migratory species, flying to parts of eastern and southern Europe during the summer, particularly Turkey.

Feeding habits[edit]

The adults feed on nectar of a great variety of flowers. They have a preference for fragrant species like petunia, jasmine and honeysuckle. They are especially active in the twilight time, hovering over the flowers after sunset.

The caterpillars feed mainly on oleander (Nerium oleander) leaves, a highly toxic plant to which toxicity they are immune. They also may feed on most plants of the Dogbane family, such as Adenium obesum, and Tabernaemontana divaricata and Alstonia scholaris in India.

Life cycle[edit]

The newborn caterpillars are pale blue. Their color changes to green as they grow. They have two spots resembling eyes on the forefront of their body.

The pupa is pale reddish or brownish-white and has a wax-like appearance. It lies directly on the earth, under moss or dry leaves.

Related species[edit]

External links[edit]