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Oleander Hawk Moth (prepupal lava)

Daphnis nerii


This is the 5th and final instar of the Oleander Hawk Moth. It is now ready to pupate. I found it on the ground under a Pinwheel plant, (Tabernaemontana divaricata, it's host plant) being bothered by some ants. I put in a large container with some soil and dry leaves, and it immediately disappeared under the leaves, presumably to pupate. Thanks Nuwan for this tip. According to this wonderful link I found (which wasn't accepted under references, so I added it in the notes), the moth should emerge in 14 days. I'll be watching! "The previously apple-green body had transformed to a dirty orange on the flanks and an olive-brown on the dorsum. A symmetrical pair of round, black patches had also appeared on the top of its first thoracic segment, just posterior to its head. The thick rings of its false eye spots had darkened to a black outline. The yellow of its posterior tail horn had now intensified to orange." SOURCE: Nature in Singapore


In my garden under it's host plant: Pinwheel plant, Tabernaemontana divaricata.


Great article here: Previous spottings - 5th instar - final instar

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MayraSpringmann 11 years ago

Great series!

pamsai 11 years ago

hehehe blue mascara indeed, Leuba. Thanks for your comment. Made me smile!

Maria dB
Maria dB 11 years ago

Very nice series, Pam!

Piali Bopanna
Piali Bopanna 11 years ago

WOW! The Caterpillar looks as amazing as the adult moth.

Leuba Ridgway
Leuba Ridgway 11 years ago

Great spotting Pam. I love pics 3 & 4 - blue mascara !!

pamsai 11 years ago

thanks LaurenZarate...

LaurenZarate 11 years ago

Nature is so incredible! That huge fake face is enough is enough to scare away any predator. Great series of pictures!

AgnesAdiqueTalavera 11 years ago

You're most welcome Pam. I also was not able to document the 3rd and 4th instars. It was only when I was researching about the green 5th instar that I realized that I have the photos of the 2nd instar. Hope you get the complete cycle!

pamsai 11 years ago

@Agnes. Thanks for the info. I guess it makes sense the the green 5th instar changes into brown before the final pre-pupal stage. So both my previous spottings are 5th instar. Will have to check the bush more closely for the earlier instars!

Copied this info from your answer to my Q on your spotting so I can have it available...
Hi Pam. I took this photo Dec 16. By morning of Dec 17, it was already preparing its hiding place, and by Dec 18, when I checked it beneath the leaves, it has already turned into its pupal form - Wow, I'm excited for you! :)

AgnesAdiqueTalavera 11 years ago

Hi Pam, I have commented on your green 5th instar larva -

This one here is also 5th instar on its pre-pupate form -

pamsai 11 years ago

Thanks Agnes. I posted a comment and some questions on your spotting.
Does the 5th instar include both the green and the brown stage caterpillar? Or is this
the 2nd instar?
Bit confused about that.

AgnesAdiqueTalavera 11 years ago

Pam, I have similar exciting experience which I was able to document (from 2nd instar to releasing of the moth) - It would be awesome when you finally see the eclosed moth. :)

Spotted by


Spotted on Feb 3, 2013
Submitted on Feb 3, 2013

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