Oleander Hawk Moth (Sphingidae Macroglossinae Daphnis nerii - Linnaeus, 1758)

Found 2 moth specimens at rest in North Point, Hong Kong the last week of  September, 1999.  Another fresh female was found on September 25, 2001 in Shau Kei Wan, Hong Kong.  The 2 mature larvae pictured below were found at Fairview Park, Yuen Long, Hong Kong on October 20 and November 7, 1999. They were feeding on Vinca (Periwinkle). Four larvae were found in the first week of January, 1997, near the North Point ferry terminus, also feeding on Vinca.  Three were in the final instar.  Another mature larva was found October 7, 2002 at Fairview Park, feeding on Apocynaceae Adenium obesum (Desert Rose), reportedly the main foodplant in Africa.  As the name implies, it also feeds on OleanderA mature larva, three 1st-instar larvae and 2 ova were found October 22, 2002 in Shau Kei Wan, Hong Kong on Vinca.  Also in Shau Kei Wan, two mature larvae were found on January 2 and two 3rd instar larvae on January 8, 2003, on Vinca.

This ova was laid on the underside of a Vinca leaf, near the middle vein.
Diameter was about 1.5 mm / 0.06 inch

1st instar larva, about two days old; length about 1 cm / 0.4 inch.

2nd instar larva; length about 2 cm / 0.8 inch.

3rd instar larva; length about 3 cm / 1.2 inch.

An example of a green larva,  84mm / 3.3 inches long.
The instensity of the blue-green eye-spots can vary.
Note the changing appearance of the tail horn; instar stage
can be determined from these consistent changes.
The mature larva may occur in the 4th or 5th instar.

The brown form of the mature larva.
This form is not common and seems only to occur with the final instar change.
This was only the second brown one found since 1997.

Top and underside of a pre-pupal larva, about 64 mm / 2.5 inches long.
Note the very short tail horn.

Dorsal and ventral views of the pupa, formed on Oct 25, 1999.
The sides have a row of 7 large, black spots.
The male moth emerged at night on Nov 4, 1999.

The moth in rest position.

Top and Underside views of moth;
Wingspan is about 85.7 mm / 3.4 inch

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This page last updated 9-Jan-2003.