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Oleander Hawk-moth

Daphnis nerii


Freshly emerged specimen with exceptionally bright and purple colors. I did not change the color on this photo or edit it strongly, besides a small crop and a hint of brightness. I have also added the original, unedited photo.




I spotted this on the wall of the guesthouse at Baobeng Fiema monkey sanctuary. Thanks to experts Latimeria, bayucca and Roy Goff for confirming that this is D. nerii.

No species ID suggestions

200 Comments (1–25)

dandoucette 6 months ago

Thanks everyone, Dex, Daniel and Laura!

LauraPantelakis 9 months ago

I can't believe just how surreal this looks. What a gorgeous moth!

Daniel Hughes
Daniel Hughes a year ago

I had no clue purplemoths existed

Daniel Hughes
Daniel Hughes a year ago


Dex Bean
Dex Bean a year ago

wow. i love the colors on this moth!

Awesome spotting!

I love the colors like everyone Is saying. It is simply amazing!

dandoucette 2 years ago

Thanks Lucinda.

LucindaWestwood 2 years ago

Serious envy! This is one of my all time fav moths! Just love those colours. Great spotting.

dandoucette 2 years ago

Thanks dominique and ddl.

ddl 2 years ago

Simply WOW

dominique.eghlidi 2 years ago


HazelMarley 2 years ago

No problem, dan.

dandoucette 2 years ago

Thanks ChristosMaroulis.

ChristosMaroulis 2 years ago


dandoucette 2 years ago

Thanks Hazel.

HazelMarley 2 years ago

Beautiful colors!

dandoucette 2 years ago

Thanks rams4d.

rams4d 2 years ago

Amazing purple tones

pamsai 3 years ago

Very interesting conversation... thanks you all...

JoeHartman 3 years ago

Bayucca, I agree to let it rest and keep it a secret photo phenomenon.
The only question is: how does it influence the educational task of PN? People who see only this pic will think it's the default colour, and it's not.
I have the corrected photo in my computer, by one correction of the WB I got the correct colours.
I wish there would be a way to upload it here, so interested people can see the result of a photo error and how it should have looked like. I can send it to you personally, as you are one of the few who recognize possible technical problems. Let me know, my email is Thanks

bayucca 3 years ago

Flash and artificial light and a fresh specimen. We will never find out what really change the usually seen colors most. For me it is fresh moth, maybe artificial light and flash, however, flash would rather enhance existing colors than alter them. And I cannot imagine that they us in a guesthouse for tourist expensive artificial lights, just the cheapest ones, like in most other places. So we should see more altered colors in moth if these lamps are so critical. The point with the white balance is interesting. Usually wb is hidden in the menu of the camera, so you would not change it by incidence. I think Dan would have noticed this if something is wrong with the camera.
I suggest, that we leave it like this and Dan might add some more infos in the description.

JoeHartman 3 years ago

With all respect, I don't see any purple in your link. They are green or brownish.

To the photo: there is a lot wrong with the photo: the colours! Either the white-balance or the flash, but as has bee confirmed now (and I mentioned it and asked Dan in an earlier post) that UV light totally changes colours, specially green. In a yourh-stage I collected minerals and some of them gives awesome colours under UV-light. Guess what gave the best results? Green! So to me it is clear that there has been some light influence (from outside, neon lights or so?) and that spoilt the photo. Yes spoilt, no Oleander Hawk-moth looks that colour, fresh or not. I still wait for pics of purple D. nerii, if it is so usual, why can't I (and otehrs) not find pics on the web?

PS I have taken the photo in my computer and changed the white balance....perfect green colours, fresh colours, no sign of purple! If there is a way I would love to share it, to show the science from a photographer's stand point.

RoyGoff 3 years ago

The purple and the pink colours are usually present and obviously brighter on a fresh specimen, but they are exaggerated on this photo probably by flash exposure see for a range of colours

JoeHartman 3 years ago

I think there has not been any doubt about it being D. nerii. The question is not only did Dan use flash (as I thought to have read that already) but was maybe something not correct with the exposure settings?
Or: Did Ian Kitching mention that this purple is perfectly normal?

Kumasi, Ashanti Region, Ghana

Lat: 6.69, Long: -1.62

Spotted on Dec 20, 2003
Submitted on Apr 22, 2011


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