Case Moths &
Case Moths 
Scribbly Gum Moth 
Leaf Miners
Concealer Moths &
Concealer Moths
Timber Moths
Small Grey Moth
Day Flying Moths
Goat Moth
Sun Moths
Metalmark Moths
Forester Moths 
Cup Moths
Pyralid Moths
Plume Moths
Teak Moths
Pyralid Moths
Pyralid Moths
Looper Moths
Anthelid Moths
Bag-shelter Moths
Prominents Moths
Tussock Moths
Tiger Moths
Tiger Moths
Owl Moths 


Hawk Moths - Family Sphingidae

This page contains information about Hawk Moths and Caterpillars that we found in the Brisbane area, Queensland, Australia.

Hawk Moth Caterpillar
Mature Hawk Moth Caterpillars are usually stout, with cylindrical hairless body and small head. They usually have a prominent tapering horn on their last segment. They have strong prolegs on 3, 4, 5, and 6 segments. Their anal prolegs are strong as well. The Caterpillars are often brightly coloured, with diagonal stripes and eyespots. They pupate in the soil or within plants litter near their the foodplants. 
Hawk Moth adults are large size moths. They have the strong and aerodynamic-shaped body. Their forewings are narrow and long with smaller hind wings. They are very good flyer. They fly very fast and long distance. They even fly backward. They can hover in flight to sip nectar from flowers using their long tongue. When rest, they hold their wings on body like a tent. 
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Hawk Moth hovering and feeding on flowers. They usually active just before sunset.   

Pale Brown Hawk Moth
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Theretra latreillii, moth body length 50mm, caterpillar body length 100mm 
The Pale Brown Hawk Moth Caterpillars have two colour forms, brown and green. The brown form has the dark brown and white waves patterns on the body. The Green form caterpillar is the same body shape, green in colour and less patterns on the body. All of them have the curved horn on its tail and the eyespots on the first abdominal segment. The adult moth is pale brown in colour, with two dark brown lines of dots on each forewings. The thorax and the abdomen are the same pale brown colour. On its head there are the big brown eyes. More information and pictures on this page.
Privet Hawk Moth
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Psilogramma menephron, caterpillar length 80mm
This Caterpillar is green in colour with a straight horn on its tail pointing backwards. There are a series of diagonal white stripes on both sides of its strong body. In Wishart bushland there are some Privet trees along a foot path. During early winter on one of the trees we found many of this caterpillars feeding. Because of their camouflage colour they are not easily be noticed. When disturbed, the Caterpillar lifts the front of its body, and bends its head underneath. Check this page for more information.
Bee Hawk Moth
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Cephonodes kingii, body length 40mm
This moth was found feeding on flowers later afternoon outside our office in a hot summer day. It abdomen is yellow and black look like a bee. On its back is grayish-green in colour. Its wings are transparent. It was hovering flowers and flying like a small bird. Check this page for more information.
Convolvulus Hawk Moth
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Agrius convolvuli, body length 70mm
We found this large moth (first picture) resting on a wooden stand in Brisbane City on a summer day. The moth is grayish-brown in colour. The caterpillar is either green or dark brown in colour with pale diagonal stripes along the sides. It also has the curved horn on the tail. The caterpillar feed on plants include sweet potato. Second pictures was taken on Sep 2007 in Sunshine Coast, north of Brisbane.

1. Moths of Australia - I. F. B. Common, Melbourne University Press, 1990, p408.
2. Moths of Australia - Bernard D'Abrera, Lansdowne Press, Melbourne, 1974, p67. 


Up ] Pale Brown Hawk Moth ] Australian Privet Hawk Moth ] Bee Hawk Moth ]

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Last updated: May 03, 2009.