Common Anthelid Moth  
Western Anthelid Moth 
Hairy Mary Caterpillar
Eyespot Anthelid Moth 
Yellow-headed Anthelid
Rose Anthelid Caterpillar
Wattle Moth Caterpillar
Anthelid Caterpillars
Anthelid Cocoons  


Hawk Moths - Family Sphingidae

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

Hawk Moth Caterpillar
Hawk Moth Sphingidae is the only family in superfamily Sphingoidea. Some references put this family in superfamily Bombycoidea
Mature Hawk Moth Caterpillars are usually stout structured, with cylindrical hairless smooth body and small head. They usually have a single prominent tapering horn on the 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 feed on variable kinds of plants openly during the day. Some of them feed on Vitaceae (Woody or herbaceous climbers include grapevine). They pupate in the soil or within plants litter near their the food-plants. 
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Pupa                                                                    Hovering when feeding                                            Moth adult
Hawk Moth adults are large  to very large size moths. They have the strong, smooth and aerodynamic-shaped body. They have simple short antennae and very large eyes. Their forewings are narrow and long while the hind wings are small. They are very good flyer. They fly fast and long distance. They can hover even fly backward. They hover to sip nectar from flowers using their long proboscis. When rest, they hold their wings on body like a tent. 
Hawk Moth adults have relatively long life. Females lay spherical egg singly on underside of leaves of host plants.
In this family males and females are looked almost identical. 
When feeding, most Hawk Moth can do the hovering and stay still in air. They are usually active just before sunset.   

Subfamily Sphinginae

Convolvulus Hawk Moth
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Agrius convolvuli, body length 70mm
The moth is grayish-brown in colour. We found this large moth (first picture) resting on a wooden stand in Brisbane City on a summer day 2002. Second pictures was taken on Sep 2007 in Sunshine Coast, north of Brisbane. Please check this page for more information.
Privet Hawk Moth
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Psilogramma casuarinae (often mistaken as Psilogramma menephron), caterpillar length 80mm
The Privet Hawk Moth 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. Please check this page for more information.

Subfamily Macroglossinae

Double-headed Hawk Moth
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Coequosa triangularis, caterpillar length 60mm
The Hawk Moth caterpillar is colourful and it does not have the dorsal horn. At the anal claspers it has a pair of raised shining black eye-like spot, which give rise to the common name of Double-headed Hawk Moth. Please check this page for more information.
Bee Hawk Moth
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Cephonodes kingii, body length 40mm
In a hot summer day late afternoon this Bee Hawk Moth was found feeding on flowers outside our office. It abdomen is yellow and black colours looked 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 about this moth.
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. They 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 brown lines of small dots on each forewings. More information and pictures about this moth can be found on this page.
Unknown Hawk Moth Caterpillar
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? Theretra sp., Length 50mm
Pictures were taken on Feb 2010 at the edge of the Lagoon in Karawatha Forest. The caterpillar was resting on the reeds. 

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. 
3. Northern Territory Insects, A Comprehensive Guide CD - Graham Brown, 2009.
4. SPHINGIDAE of Australia - Australian Caterpillars by Don Herbison-Evans & Stella Crossley, 2010.  
5. Moths of Victoria Part 1 - Silk Moths and Allies - BOMBYCOIDEA - Peter Marriott, Entomological Society of Victoria, 2008, p29. 
6. A Guide to Australian Moths - Paul Zborowski, Ted Edwards, CSIRO PUBLISHING, 2007, p168. 

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Last updated: October 03, 2011.