Hawk moths have to be some of the most
interesting of all moths. There are over 850 species in the world, 55 of which
are native to Australia. Many of the Australian species are also common in
Southeast Asia. Some species that you may find in your backyard include the
Impatiens Hawk Moth and the Gardenia Bee Hawk Moth.
Hawk moth caterpillars are amazing. They
are all brightly coloured, in a variety of patterns, and many species have eye
spots along their body. The patterns help the caterpillar to camouflage in the
foliage of the plant they prefer to eat, and the eye spots are to frighten of
would-be predators. However, if that fails to work, they will spit out green
slime, the leftovers from their last meal! Some species also hiss and arch their
body into an S-shape. A distinguishing characteristic of Hawk Moth caterpillars
is that all species have a horn on their tail. Some people believe that this
is actually a stinger; however, this is not the case.