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Australasian Privet Hawk-moth Caterpillar

Psilogramma casuarinae

Description:

A really cool looking caterpillar. Initially this caterpillar is green with a strong nearly straight horn on its tail pointing backwards. Later it develops a series of diagonal white stripes on its sides. This is a fully developed caterpillar and has grown to its full length of about 8 cms. Psilogramma casuarinae is found in eastern Australia and was long treated as a synonym of the Asian species Psilogramma menephron, but is now thought to be a distinct species.

Habitat:

Found in my garden... by my cat. I have observed this species of caterpillar feeding on a China Doll tree (Radermachera sinica) in my yard, so that is where I placed it. When last I saw it, it was feeding away quite happily. On certain plant species this caterpillar is an agricultural pest. (see 2nd reference link for plant species list).

Notes:

This spotting began with the last photo in this series. The big white paw belongs to my cat Lillie. I could hear rustling in the garden, and it was her playing with the caterpillar. She was just curious, and each time she patted it with her paw it would twitch. I rescued it with a tea towel, and just as well I did (use the towel) because I could feel the caterpillar trying to bite through it. After a few photos I placed it in the tree.

No species ID suggestions

3 Comments

maplemoth662
maplemoth662 a week ago

Your welcome, Neil Ross....

Neil Ross
Neil Ross a week ago

Thanks, maplemoth662. I have my cat "Lillie" to thank for this spotting. It was rustling in the leaf litter, and she was having a huge time tapping it with her paw (last photo). She didn't harm it in any way, although I didn't give her a chance to. A very cool-looking caterpillar.

maplemoth662
maplemoth662 a week ago

A very pretty caterpillar....

Brisbane, QLD, Australia

Lat: -27.51, Long: 153.02

Spotted on Apr 20, 2014
Submitted on Apr 20, 2014

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