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Hawk Moth

Psilogramma increta

Hawk Moth
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Hawk Moth • Psilogramma increta
The caterpillar of this species is amazing, being bright green, striped with white, and having a spiky tail that grows to about 1 cm long. The caterpillar itself can grow up to 10 cm long and around 1.5 cm in diameter.

Being a hawk moth, the caterpillar rears up in a “sphinx-like” pose when it is disturbed. Also, it eats practically anything. The one in the photos is eating ornamental olive, but they also eat snapdragon, foxglove, privet, and jasmine, among others.

The pupa is formed in autumn, as the caterpillar pupates over winter. It is about 4-5 cm long, and has a kind of “hook” at the head, which is where the moth’s tongue, or haustella, is formed. The moth itself is rather large, having a wingspan of over 10 cm. It is brown and grey striped on the tops of its wings, and dull brown underneath.

This moth lives over a very large range, from China, west to India, down through Southeast Asia and New Guinea, all the way to southern Australia. It is most common around Vietnam and the islands of Indonesia, although they still breed in all areas.

Common Names - Hawk Moth (Psilogramma increta)

There are about 1,200 species of hawk moth, found around the world, classified into some 200 genera and grouped within 3 subfamilies: Macroglossinae, Smerinthinae, Sphinginae.


Common Name Scientific Name Where Found
Hawk Moth Psilogramma increta  
Sphinx Moth Psilogramma increta  
Hornworms   The caterpillar of the Hawk Moth in North America are often referred to as hornworms, due to the ‘horn’ at the posterior end of the caterpillar.
Scientific Classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
SuperFamily: Bombycoidea
Family: Spingidae
Genus: Psilogramma increta

Hawk Moth (Psilogramma increta) • Other links

Catgerpillars: Especially Australia Ones • Butterfly and moth database.
Welcome to the Critters Page (Creatures Great and Small) • Life cycle images.
Sphingidae of the Eastern Palaearctic
• Good information about Psilogramma Increta (Walker, 1865).
Insects from the forests of Chiang Mai
• Thailand has 176 species of Sphingidae... Hawk moths (Sphingidae).


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