|Oleander Hawkmoth (female) In Mangaon, Maharashtra, India|
Sphinx nerii Linnaeus, 1758
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 the caterpillars are immune. They also may feed on most plants of the Dogbane family, such as Adenium obesum, 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.
Adult has greenish head, rufous in front and a grey band on vertex. Thorax is green, and the collar outlined in grey color. There is a triangular grey patch on the vertex. Abdomen is pale greenish with oblique lines at the side paired dark green lateral blotches on penultimate and a single dorsal blotch on ultimate segment. Fore wings are dark green and a white patch with a black spot on it at base. Some medial whitish conjoined bands, rosy towards hind margin. There is a triangular purplish patch from below the cell to near outer margin. Hind wings are fuscous with a pale curved submarginal line, beyond which the area is olivaceus. Ventral side is suffused with chestnut color and a white submarginal line on both wings. A white speck is present at the end of the hind wing.
Larva is greenish, with a bluish lateral bands from 4th somite to horn with white oval spots on it. Ocellus on 3rd somite is bluish. Horn is yellowish.
- Daphnis hypothous, found in South and Southeast Asia. Distinguished by a white spot at the forewing apex.
- "Fauna Europaea".
- "Sphingidae of the Western Palaearctic. Daphnis nerii.". A.R. Pittaway
- 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.
- 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.
- Hampson G. F. (1892). "The Fauna Of British India Including Ceylon And Burma Moths Vol-i". Digital Library of India. p. 558. Retrieved 4 July 2016.
- Sphingidae of the Eastern Palaearctic - Daphnis hypothus http://tpittaway.tripod.com/china/d_hyp.htm
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