Theretra nessus

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Yam hawk moth
Yam Hawk Moth Theretra nessus.jpg
Theretra nessus, In Mangaon, Maharashtra, India
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Sphingidae
Genus: Theretra
Species: T. nessus
Binomial name
Theretra nessus
(Drury, 1773)[1]
  • Sphinx nessus Drury, 1773
  • Sphinx equestris Fabricius, 1793
  • Chaerocampa nessus rubicundus (Schaufuss, 1870)

Theretra nessus (Yam hawk moth) is a moth of the family Sphingidae.


It is found in Sri Lanka, India (including the Andaman and Nicobar Islands), Nepal, Burma, Thailand, southern China, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, northern Australia and New Caledonia.[2] It is a recent immigrant in Oahu.


The wingspan is 90–130 mm. Head, thorax and a stripe down center of abdomen is green in color suffused with ferrugineous. Thorax is with a lateral grey stripe and abdomen is golden yellow in color at sides. Fore wings are olive-brown and the base with a patch of black and white on the inner margin. A black dot is present at end of cell. A postmedial waved oblique line met by three straight oblique lines from the apex at inner margin. Hind wings are black-brown in color where the anal angle is ochreous, which color extends towards the apex as a submarginal band. Ventral side is suffused with reddish ochreous color.[3]


Larva is bluish green in color, with a subdorsal line with oblique streaks below it on 4th to 10th somites. Ocellus on 4th somite is greenish with a black ring. Horn is yellowish. Larvae have been recorded on Amaranthus, Barringtonia, Discorea, Amorphophallus, Impatiens, Citrullus, Arathis, Boerhavia, Knoxia, Morinda, Oldenlandia, Pongamia, Spermacoce, Glossostigma and Camellia.[4][5]

Theretra nessus larva (2) and pupa (2a)


  • Theretra nessus nessus - nominate from South Asia and South East Asian countries
  • Theretra nessus albata Fukuda, 2003 (Fiji, New Caledonia, the Loyalty Islands and Rossel Island at the extreme eastern end of the Louisiade Archipelago)


  1. ^ "CATE Creating a Taxonomic eScience - Sphingidae". Archived from the original on 2012-10-22. Retrieved 2011-10-25. 
  2. ^ "Theretra nessus". Butterfly House. Retrieved 6 July 2016. 
  3. ^ 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. 
  4. ^ "Yam hawkmoth". Sphingidae of the Eastern Palaearctic species list. Retrieved 29 July 2016. 
  5. ^ "Theretra nessus Drury". The Moths of Borneo. Retrieved 6 July 2016. 

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