|Oleander Hawkmoth (female) In Mangaon, Maharashtra, India|
Daphnis nerii (formerly Deilephila nerii), known as the oleander hawk-moth or army green moth, is a moth of the Sphingidae family.
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.
Newly hatched oleander hawk-moth larvae are three to four millimetres in length, bright yellow, and have a black, elongated ‘horn’ on the rear of the body. As they get older, the larvae become green to brown with a large blue-and-white eyespot near the head and a yellow ‘horn’ on the rear. There is also a white band along the side of the body, with a scattering of small white and bluish dots alongside it. The spiracles on the sides of the body are black. Older oleander hawk-moth larvae measure around 7.5 to 8.5 centimetres in length.
Just before it pupates, the oleander hawk-moth larva becomes browner in colour. The pupa of this species measures around 5.5 to 7.5 centimetres in length, and is light brown with black spots and a black line down the middle.
- Daphnis hypothous, found in South and Southeast Asia. Distinguished by a white spot at the forewing apex.
- Moore, A. and Miller, R.H. (2008) Daphnis nerii (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae), a new pest of oleander on Guam, including notes on plant hosts and egg parasitism. Proceedings of the Hawaiian Entomological Society, 40: 67-70.
- Sphingidae of the Western Palaearctic - Daphnis nerii http://tpittaway.tripod.com/sphinx/d_ner.htm
- Leong, T.M. and D’Rozario, V. (2009) Final instar larvae and metamorphosis of the oleander hawkmoth, Daphnis nerii (Linnaeus) in Singapore (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae: Macroglossinae). Nature in Singapore, 2: 297-306.
- Sphingidae of the Eastern Palaearctic - Daphnis hypothus http://tpittaway.tripod.com/china/d_hyp.htm
- "CATE Creating a Taxonomic eScience - Sphingidae". Cate-sphingidae.org. Retrieved 2011-10-26.
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